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They’re part of our family


By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

Sept. 27, 2023

“It was like having an uncle at camp,” said my son, Jake, when describing a priest of our diocese.

“He’s definitely part of your faith family,” I responded. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for him. He was a big part of me returning to the faith when you were little, and he was one of the people who suggested I apply for my job.”

“Does that mean he’s like my faith grandfather?” Jake replied, grinning.

“I’m guessing he’d prefer you stick with uncle, but I’m going to tell him you referred to him as grandfatherly,” I said, also laughing.

I did not tell the priest involved. Though I now think of “faith grandfather” every time I see him or hear his name.

It’s something I don’t think of often, but my interaction with Jake made me think about that familial title – father – we use when addressing our priests.

If I think of my father or think of my husband in his role as father, I think of wisdom, perseverance, strength, guidance, humor and sacrificial giving, and I think of someone who is consistently present in my life, accompanying me along the way.

We ask our priests to display those characteristics, too.

Our priests share wisdom gained through education, formation and experience in their preaching, teaching and counsel. They persevere through the challenges of administering our parishes and serving the people of Christ, maintaining their own spiritual, physical and mental health, and the regular challenges of life. They share with us the strength of their relationships with the Lord. They guide our parishes. They give of themselves as they work to serve the Lord and His people. They accompany us and help lead us to Christ. They do it by offering us the sacraments, their wisdom, their counsel and their service.

But they do way more than that. Our priests also serve as chaplains in fire departments, law enforcement, medical facilities and prisons; they serve in diocesan leadership roles; they lead and participate in ministries; and they do much, much more.

Here at the North Country Catholic, we’re especially blessed to have as part of our family Father Bill Muench and Monsignor Paul Whitmore, who write so beautifully and insightfully for our publication.

One note: While all our priests are appreciated, some aren’t mentioned in these pages. Despite best intentions, people miss deadlines. People forget to submit their notes of thanks.

Though they may not be mentioned, these priests are still appreciated and loved. They’re still part of our family.
And, as we do with our family, please keep our priests in your prayers.

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