Letter from Father Kevin
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to share with you this reflection on my first year of the priesthood. First, I cannot help but notice how quickly one year has gone by. I remember arriving a week before the Solemnity of Corpus Christi; I was newly out of the seminary and aware that I would have to adjust to my new life as a parish priest. To my surprise, the adjustment period was very short and now I'm well on my way to my second year! As I reflect on this past year, the phrase that instantly comes to mind is "God is Faithful." God is indeed faithful because He is the one that accompanies me in this vocation.
As some of you might know, God called to me to the priesthood during my teenage years, but I put the call on hold until I entered college. Even though my studies were going well, I was not fully content; I understood God was calling me to something different. This is when I made the decision to enter the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Boston. Initially, I thought that one year in the seminary would help me to confirm that the priesthood was not for me. After all, I'm an introvert, and speaking in front of crowds was not particularly my cup of tea. The funny thing is that the opposite happened; nine years went by, and God confirmed my vocation with many signs that I could not ignore. Throughout my years of seminary formation, I began to experience the action of God in my life; He granted me many graces that convinced me that his power is greater than all my weaknesses. The culmination of all these blessings was the Ordination to the Priesthood, where the Lord confirmed my mission as a priest. The first destination of this mission was Immaculate Conception Parish in Marlborough.
As I arrived in the parish, I was kindly welcomed by the priests, the staff, and all of you! I have felt truly at home and God has granted me beautiful experiences. Celebrating the sacraments for the community is a great joy because it makes me a witness to the wonderful things that God is doing in your lives. The various encounters that I have with many of you also help me to grow both as a Christian and as a priest.
Having the time to talk to adults and youth about reconciliation confirms to me that we have a Father in heaven who is truly merciful. Being able to visit people in their homes and in the hospitals to give the anointing of the sick helps me to see that Christ is especially close to the sick and that he doesn't abandon us in difficult times. Accompanying couples as they receive the Sacrament of Matrimony helps to see how much Christ wants to be at the center of all families. The Celebration of the Eucharist every weekend confirms to me the love that God has for each of us that He gives himself completely to us so that we might have the certainty of his presence in our lives. All these experiences are truly a blessing; in them, I experience the fidelity of God who is accompanying me in this first assignment.
As a new and young priest, I'm aware that there is still more to learn and more people to meet. This parish houses three communities; I have been working with two: the English and Spanish speaking. Fr. Steven has asked me about the possibility of learning Portuguese to help the Brazilian community. I'm more than happy to be able to learn another language to help this community and better serve the parish. So, I ask for your prayers as I will go to Brazil for some weeks during September to familiarize myself with the language.
Father Steven Clemence