St. Madeleine Sophie Parish
Niagara University (2014, B.A. Religious Studies and History; Minors: French, Philosophy, Middle Eastern Studies)
M.A. Theology; Concentration: Systematic / Historical Theology, St. John's University (Queens, NY)--2016
Graduate Research / Teaching Assistant, St. John's University Department of Theology, Substitute teacher, Teaching Assistant at Wildwood Programs (for students with developmental, behavioral and intellectual disabilities)
English, French, basic Italian
Music (especially Sacred, baroque and classical), reading, theology, liturgy, politics and culture, New York sports (especially the Yankees, Giants, St. John's University Red Storm and Syracuse Orangemen), musical theater, movies
I have a titanium rod fused to my spine--this was done to correct my case of scoliosis at the age of 14.
Saint Pope Pius X / Saint Joan of Arc / Saint Roch (Confirmation Saint)
Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Litany for the Church in our Time, Auxilium Christianorum
I absolutely fell in love with our Blessed Lord’s Church through both intellect and the senses while in college. Though I began discerning a potential vocation to our Lord’s Priesthood in high school, it was not until I began taking college courses in Theology, Religious Studies, History and Philosophy (as well as further study and inquiry of my own) that I began to truly appreciate the brilliant and divinely inspired Tradition of the Church. The faith that had been passed down to me by my parents (my mom was my and my siblings’ religious education teacher for many years growing up) and Polish grandmother, of which I am most grateful and appreciative, began to germinate and flourish here. Thus, the resplendent nature of the Church’s intellectual, spiritual and historical legacy absolutely captivated, accosted and enraptured me (this is also the primary reason I elected to pursue a Master’s Degree in Theology)!
Concurrent with my intellectual fascination with our Lord and His Church was my equally compelling experience taking in the magnificent architectural, artistic, musical and cultural patrimony of the Catholic Church during my time studying abroad in Paris as a sophomore in college (and subsequent travels across Europe). I also pilgrimaged along the footsteps of St. John Paul the Great in Poland and, through his intercession, began to truly take seriously the prospect that Jesus was, indeed, calling me to serve Him through His Priesthood. Once again, I fell in love with the Church through her splendor and majesty–this time, however, it was primarily through my senses and heart.
In a world where trends, pop ideology, the culture of death, fashions and this-worldly-things predominate, our Lord through His Catholic Church calls men to the priesthood to defend, uphold and expand the Church and her influence in all things (so that we might execute Christ’s Divine Commission to win souls for Him to save through His Church and to make disciples of all men the world over). In a sense, the Catholic priest is called to serve as a Crusader knight, serving his Lord (Christ the King) and defending his Lady (the Blessed Mother) and Kingdom (Holy Mother Church). The beauty of the Church impelled me, through intellect, the senses and spirit, to enter Mundelein Seminary!
In addition to restoring a sense of beauty, majesty and splendor through the reverent celebration of the Church’s Sacraments and her regal Sacred Liturgy, I am very much looking forward to boldly, clearly and vigorously proclaiming the loving truths of the Catholic Church to souls so desperately in need of clarity and hope when confusion of what is true, right, real and good abounds. This can only come through the Person of Truth, Jesus Christ, as He gives Himself to us through His Sacraments, especially in the Most Holy Eucharist. Though we are all called to proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ and of His one, true Catholic Church, I believe very strongly that there is something very spiritually and humanly profound about a Catholic priest doing this, especially when it earns the ire, mockery, scorn or persecution of the world. After all, the way of sanctity IS the way of the Cross–I cannot wait to lead souls entrusted to me in holiness, beauty, goodness, truth and Christian love. I pray that God will use my priestly ministry to help conform the world more and more to His Most Sacred Heart and His Catholic Church.
I eagerly look forward to offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in reparation for the many sins against the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, to implore the conversion of the world and of souls to Jesus Christ, and to intercede on behalf of the faithful in the priestly person of Christ. I pray that God will use me to save many souls. I can only imagine the overwhelming sense of joy that I will experience when absolving people of their sins through the Sacrament of Confession. The prospect of being the sacramental agent of God’s merciful desire to win souls back from mortal sin (spiritual death) to supernatural life, “in persona Christi,” is truly extraordinary!
Just as humbling is the prospect of bringing down the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ through the consecration of bread and wine on the Eucharistic Altar as an “alter Christus,” “another Christ.” It is through the consecrated hands of the priest that souls are claimed for and nourished by Christ in the absolution offered in Confession, the transforming of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ and through sacramental anointing of the sick. Leading souls to eternal life in Christ with Our Lady and all of the Angels and Saints in Heaven is the goal! What an extraordinary sign of God’s love and mercy that He is calling me to bring His loving truth to His people, sharing the peace and eternal hope of Christ with them in their intimate moments of joy, sorrow and everything in between! As a priest, I pray that God uses me to remind the world that there is an entire invisible reality–the supernatural, the sacred and the heavenly–that many have all but forgotten, ignored or are unwilling to see. I pray that I am used to lead people into this invisible life of grace and holiness, making the world more Catholic and helping people to become great saints.
|What has been your favorite/most memorable story of your time at Mundelein thus far?||
Though the annual celebrations of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, our patronal Feast Day, and May Crowning are always amongst my favorite events as a seminarian, I have to say that my class’s final weeks in the Holy Land for our Pilgrimage during the outbreak of Coronavirus is certainly the most memorable! Frantically adjusting flight plans and schedules while countries where we would have had connecting flights were rapidly shutting down travel may have been stressful, nerve-wracking and exhausting, but it was also quite an exhilarating adventure! Witnessing Jerusalem–the Holy City of David and location of Our Blessed Lord’s holy death and Resurrection—become like a ghost town almost overnight certainly seems like a difficult experience to top, memorability-wise.
I will be ordained with ten other men to the Diaconate on Saturday, September 5th at 10 AM EST at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, NY. Live-stream should be available! See: https://www.rcda.org/
|How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?||
Please pray that we seminarians may have the courage and fortitude to boldly and unambiguously proclaim the glorious truth of our Lord’s Catholic Church, without compromise, equivocation or concession to Satan who seeks, always and everywhere, to lead faithful sons of the Church astray. The Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer and prayers to Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons, are VERY effective here. Though these devotions, spirituality and theology have unfortunately fallen by the wayside in recent decades, the simple fact is that we baptized sons and daughters of the Church are engaged in spiritual warfare with Satan and his fallen angels.
Saint Paul is very clear about the reality of and need to take up spiritual warfare in his letter to the Ephesians (6:10-13): “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Priests, seminarians and the priesthood itself are under constant attack both externally as well as internally. Satan does not want there to be good priests and, so, will go to great lengths to undermine, corrupt or simply thwart vocations to the priesthood through all forms of guile, deceit and manipulation. Please, ask for the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph and Our Lady to give us courage and wisdom in our fight for Christ and souls!
Pray that we are fortified, emboldened and invigorated by Christ through the most powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary. Pray that we never become complacent with modern society but, rather, that we remain ever vigilant and faithful to Mother Church and the Magisterium in all that we do. Pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and kindle within our hearts a burning desire to grow in faith, virtue, holy wisdom and learning! The Rosary is a tremendously powerful spiritual weapon–second to only the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as St. Padre Pio, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Dominic and many other great saints have attested. If you could please offer a few decades–the more the “Mary-er”–for us to be the holy and courageous men of Jesus Christ that the faithful deserve as their priests, you will surely have some very grateful priests and seminarians! Thank you for all of your invaluable support, prayers and dedication to vocations and the Catholic priesthood! We pray for you and your loved ones every day!
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on alert with all the perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” -Ephesians 6:17-20