Nearly ten years ago, I was at the abbey for several days after Christmas as a come-and-see visitor. As I prayed, Fr. Leo Celano shuffled into the church from the sacristy and went to his usual place in choir.
I watched as he knelt down on the hard floor and remained there in prayer, absolutely still for a long period of time. As I looked at Fr. Leo praying, I realized this was the answer to my own prayer. I thought, “I want to be like that when I am an old man.”
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Jn 15:13). My whole life has in one way or another revolved around the desires that make up the very core of this single verse.
And so here at the end of many things, but truly at the beginning of everything, by the grace of God, and only through His continued favor, I can say that I am about to prove the greatest act of love I am capable of: to lay down my life for my friends.
The world needs well-formed priests — to pray, to teach, and to console God’s beloved children. We rely on the generosity of others to provide for the education of our seminarians and the various ministries of our growing abbey community.
As more young men lay down their lives in service to the priesthood, will you help support their courageous journey?