Fr. Aidan Writes:
This weekend we have had the wonderful gift of celebrating the ordination of our brother, now Father Gerardo Toscano CJ. Bishop Robert came to confer this sacrament of Holy Orders along with his Josephite confreres, many priests, seminarians, religious, teacher colleagues from St Joseph High School and members of the parish. A great day for Gerar- do personally, a proud one for the Josephite Community and a hope-filled day for the
Church at large. Father Gerardo will be working at St Joseph High School teaching English and also being fully involved in the chaplaincy and life at the school. He also will celebrate Masses and sacra- ments from time to time here at the parish or at St Anthony’s or to help out in other parishes when they need a priest.
What is a priest? We could be formal and say he is a baptized man who has received the sacrament of Holy Orders to preach and celebrate the Sacraments for the people of God. Indeed he is, but he is also a missionary, a servant-leader, a spiritual guide, a man of prayer, a teacher… But perhaps he is also to be seen as an explorer, one who really enters into this great adventure of the faith; the rela- tionship with Christ in a special way. The path he needs to take must be responsive to the world around him, true at all times to the summoning, constant call to follow his Lord, but always with the desire and purpose to bring others along with him. In the end he is to be a risk taker for Christ. We live in a world and in a time which challenges much of what we stand for as Catholic Christians. So priests must stand up for what they believe to be right and holy and help others to do the same. At the same time, they have to do this in a beatitudinal, open, gentle and compassionate manner so as not to alienate those they need to convert and encourage to follow. There is too much stridency and closed-off hearing in today’s world; priests must not add to that cacophony.
In the end, as a priest, Brother, now Father, Gerardo must at all times be, as our Venerable Founder Constant van Crombrugghe said, “An instrument of mercy in the hand of God”. We all wish Gerardo great faithfulness and happiness in his life as a Josephite priest working for the Lord. We are also privileged to host his first Holy Mass here at SLdM.
God bless us all, Fr Aidan-Peter CJ
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter