Father Keith Garvin: My New Life as a Priest

by Fr. Keith Garvin, Parochial Vicar, Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish

I have been asked to write about my first 30 days in a parish as a newly ordained priest.  My first thought was, well, do you remember the Looney Toons character call Taz? You know the one that spun around in circles moving, rarely stopping? There was a whirlwind of activity everywhere he went. That is kind of what it has been like, but 100 times better and a lot of fun!

It is hard to describe exactly what my first 30 days was like – it has been full of activity, ministry, prayer, meeting people, loads of fun and excitement. Each day brings new and exciting things. The greatest thing is being able to bring the Sacraments to the people of God – to break open God’s Holy Word! Each day is a humbling experience. It’s amazing that God would allow me the honor and the privledge to be one of His priests. God’s people are so AWESOME!

When I’m asked how I’m doing I often respond with, “I’m just wondering when I’m going to start working.” How great it is to be doing what you’re called to do, and living out what you’re called to do. The priesthood is not a job, it is not a way to make a living. It is a calling in which one orders his life, through God’s grace, to the Cross of Christ, dying to self and rising to be a servant for Christ to His children. I’m not called to work, I’m called to serve and this is now my life. I AM A PRIEST!

I have been told that I’m in the “honeymoon” phase of my priesthood; “I’m just excited about the newness of being a priest.” But this is not my first rodeo, as the saying goes. When one finally finds his true love and he gets to spend all of his time serving his true love, what could be better than that? When my bride’s children come to me with their hurts and pains, I want to hear them and bring them the healing words, “I absolve you from your sins.” I love bringing Christ to them, “Behold the Lamb of God…” I love taking Christ to his children when they are sick, spending time with them over a meal, giving a blessing, teaching, preparing and so much more.

I love my children! I love my life! I have found my true love!

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