Message from Msgr. Seamus Brennan
On June 4th, 1972, I was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael Russell at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Waterford, Ireland. I was ordained for the Diocese of Trenton and served my first assignment at Saint Barnabas Church in Bayville. My second assignment was Associate Pastor at Saint Philip and James, Philipsburg and then I began my first pastorate at Saint John’s, Lambertville. Following a brief four years there, I divided the next 36 years between Saint Matthews, Edison and Immaculate Conception, Somerville.
When I reflect back, I think of my priesthood in the two words Saint John Paul II used regarding his priesthood — gift and mystery. No one is worthy to share in the priesthood of Christ and to stand at the altar to consecrate the Eucharist or to sit in the confessional and absolve sin. But through the power of his Spirit, God has shared with me this gift. By definition, a gift is unexpected and unmerited, but God has given me this gift. Totally out of God’s generosity, he has given me a share in his priesthood.
All this is a great mystery to me because there is no reason I can see for this call. I was a farmer and lover of sports with no particular gifts in learning or leadership or service. I had been an altar server and assisted as an usher but was not otherwise involved much in church. But in the great mystery of God’s plan, He called me to serve as a priest.
I am deeply grateful for the example and encouragement I have received all along this journey, starting with my parents and siblings and continuing with my fellow priests and the parishioners I have served. In every way, I have felt supported by the prayers of the people of God, including here at St. Matthias Church. Please continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life and to pray to the sanctification of these and all God’s people. As I celebrate my 5oth Jubilee this Pentecost weekend, I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide and strengthen every Christian and that I may willingly follow where he leads me. Thanks for your ongoing prayers and your love for God’s Church.