Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The 4th Sunday of Easter is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday as the Gospel proclaimed each year speaks on that theme. It’s a powerful message and reminder, both to the flock and to those who share in the shepherding as priests. There’s a tremendous love and humility with Christ identifying Himself with the role of shepherd and how deeply He cares; to the point that He lays down His life for the flock.

For myself, it’s a reminder of what I’ve been invited to in following Christ and what a responsibility it truly is. I can’t help but consider what it is I reaffirm every year in my priestly ministry, both at the Chrism Mass with the Bishop and on Holy Thursday in the parish. Several years ago, I rewrote the priestly recommitment used here at St. Charles on Holy Thursday to better reflect my own thoughts and words on the subject. I know some attend regularly, but many others do not make it. As such, I thought it might be fitting to share that prayer of recommitment
here, especially on Good Shepherd Sunday.

On this night in which Christ bestowed the gift of the priesthood upon the Apostles, I humbly stand before the parish community to rededicate myself to the awesome ministry of pastor here at St. Charles.

I recognize the weakness of my humanity and the immensity of the task before me; to help lead souls to the joys of heaven and eternal life with God. This can only be accomplished by cooperating with the grace of God in my life and not by my efforts or will alone. By the power of my ordination, I have been granted a share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, the one true High Priest, who offers the perfect sacrifice of Himself for the salvation of all. Most august is the vocation to which the Lord has invited me.

Though my effort at times may be lacking or my work imperfect, nevertheless I reaffirm now my desire and dedication to serving this parish community to the best of my ability. May I help to build up, not tear down. May I help forge unity, not cause division. May I bring about greater charity, not pain or hurt. May I be ever more closely united to Christ in all that I say and do.

I pray that the Lord may have mercy on me, his unworthy servant and supply me the grace I need to be an effective priest to this wonderful community. May the Lord keep us all in his charity and lead all of us, shepherd and flock, to eternal life. Amen.

May the parish of St. Charles Borromeo continue to flourish as part of the greater flock that belongs to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Please pray for me as your pastor, that I may be effective and continue to grow in my ministry for years to come.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan