August 18, 2018
Greetings to the Church of Saint Jerome,
With humble gratitude I thank the entire Saint Jerome Parish Community for your prayerful support of my vocation. A year and a half ago Msgr. Osborn accepted my discernment papers for a second time in my life; the first being forty-five years earlier under the tutelage of Father Nadrach. The year passed quickly—I was commissioned at Saint Ann Parish last August and entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary later that month. One miracle after another has brought me to the conclusion of my first year of studies and my first Parish Assignment with you here at Saint Jerome.
Altering career direction in one’s late sixties is a challenge no matter what the vocation. Fortunately the priesthood is not a career: it is a way of living and a commitment to the Lord in service to Him as High Priest under the direction of Pope, Bishop and mentor priests. This first year brought not only the predictable challenge of learning the course material but also the challenge of relearning how to study as well as how to live with brothers a third my age. In two Semesters my program covered thirteen areas of study including: Evangelization and Catechesis; Field Education I & II; Church History I & II; Synoptic Gospels; Church Fathers I & II; Christology; Research Writing; Method & Pentateuch; Fundamental Theology; Theology of Trinity; along with all my Formation Classes and finally the Desert Pilgrimage. Through your support and the graces of the Lord I had a good outcome to this year of study: my final grade average was a B, which is possibly my most hard earned academic achievement to date. It is now with a great joy in the Lord that I can say I am a second Theologian studying for the Diocese of Kalamazoo. This is not my work alone but that of the Lord and all of you here at Saint Jerome. I am so very grateful to be able to share with you as a member of your Community.
Your prayers and the daily graces of the Holy Spirit will give me the energy and love to face each day offering every sacrifice to the Lord in the name of Saint Jerome Parish. It is an offering that I will gladly make and will continue to make in the days and years of study ahead. I particularly want to thank Father Chris, and Father Jose’ and Deacon Gary and Chris for all their help and guidance; I learned a lot from them. I will put to great use all that they have taught me. Both of your great priests have showed me that a priest’s time is never there’s—it is always God’s time. Please pray for me that I and my brother seminarians will be as good in our ministry as Father Chris and Father Jose’ are.
Throughout this coming year, I hope to make it back here as often as possible to share with you in the Holy Eucharist and my experiences as a T2 student. Know that my prayers are with you and continue to be with you, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. May the Lord ever watch over and protect you. May He continue to give you the graces intended by the Father from the beginning of time.
In the Light of Christ,
Mr. David Pinto—T2