Most priests are ordained during the month of May. This has certainly been the tradition in the Diocese of Hamilton for many years. This means that most priests celebrate their anniversaries of ordination in May. It is a good time to say a prayer for your priests, give them a word of encouragement, and pray for more vocations to the priesthood. As I celebrated my 13th anniversary of
ordination on May 7th of this year, I reflected on the mystery of this life I have chosen. First, I remember how the desire to be a priest was so strong and constant in my young adulthood, that it just shattered all the other good desires for success that naturally were also present in my life. I remember how peaceful I was when I finally entered the seminary and began my formation. The life of a seminarian was simple, we didn’t own much, even the time was not our own. And yet I remember being very happy. It is so interesting to be reminded how simplicity of life can actually help us in experiencing happiness. When I was ordained a priest I remember thinking: “I can’t believe I’m a priest, after so many year of work and study and prayer, I am now a priest”. I celebrated my first Mass at St. Stanislaus Church in Hamilton, with family and friends. And then the life of a priest began, working in various churches sharing the love of Jesus and His Church. My own humanity followed me into the priesthood, and I often found myself still struggling with sins and shortcomings. I became much more merciful and understanding with the priests of my childhood, judging them less harshly as I realized my own brokenness as a priest. I am still amazed how God works in our lives, how he leads us and sanctifies us, even as we continue to try to find the way. My life as a priest is a mystery to many of my friends who often ask me: “What is it like being a priest?” My answer: “I don’t fully know”, as I’m finding myself in the midst of this mysterious life, this beautiful life, the life of a priest.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma