On May 5, 1973, 39 years ago, I was walking down the aisle of St. Paul Cathedral with 26 of my classmates to be ordained by Bishop Vincent Leonard to serve in priestly ministry for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We were and still are the largest ordination class in over 100 years for the Diocese. There are 16 of us still serving in priestly ministry. What Bishop in the country wouldn’t give to have an ordination class of that size, not only in size but in quality? The ordination class of 1973, has had an impact and has made a mark on the Diocese. We have served the parishes to which we were assigned with creativity, enthusiasm and have used our own unique qualities, talents and gifts to serve our people and thus build the church, the Body of Christ, wherever we were planted.
Anniversaries are special times to pause, reflect, remember and give thanks. It is overwhelming to see how wonderfully God has worked in my life and called me to be part of the places and peoples lives whom I have had the privilege of serving. It is hard to believe that 29 of those years have been spent serving the Churches of Duquesne in one form or another. I am grateful to all those people who over the last 39 years have allowed me into their life, their heart and their family. I am convinced that “priestly ministry” is about relationship – all of us together experiencing Jesus and church through the sacraments and at the same time touching each other’s lives in a way that we can never ever be the same again. I wish to thank all of you for allowing me to enter your life as we continue to build bonds of love and friendship in the name of the Lord ... Peace, Fr. Dennis