Servant Priests of the Home of the Mother
The past twenty-seventh of October 2018, Br. Joseph Bloomer and Br. Andrew Krische, Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother, were ordained to the priesthood. The entire Church rejoiced and gave thanks to God because, in them, He has once more fulfilled His promise to never abandon His people. In difficult times the Lord continues calling, choosing, loving with predilection; He continues giving us priests in order to be with us always, until the end of times. “The Lord has done great thing for us; we are glad” (Psalm 25).
For the Church, for all men, for the Home of the Mother: two new alter Christus, other Christs on earth, priests for all Eternity.
We pray that their generous “yes” continues, that they grow in their personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ more and more every day, and that they truly be what the world needs today: “men of God.”
To be the manifestation of Jesus, the Only Priest, is such a great responsibility! Doubtless, they need God’s grace… but they also need our prayers. Let us pray for them and for all priests. Our life depends on it.
«If God Calls You, He Will Make You Able»
By Fr. Joseph Bloomer, S.H.M.
I am Fr. Joseph Bloomer, and I was recently ordained on October 27, 2018. I have been asked to write my testimony on my experience of the ordination and on my priestly vocation. So, here it is.
The Ordination ceremony was incredible due to the beauty of the liturgy, which was later enriched by Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla’s wonderful homily. I was surprised by the serenity that I had during the ceremony because, usually, these types of experiences are pretty hard for me. I don’t like to be the center of attention. Even the very idea of being a priest used to scare me a lot… and, in reality, in a way it still scares me.
I was sitting in my dorm room in Ave Maria University the first time I received the call to the priesthood. I found myself reading a book by John Paul II titled Gift and Mystery. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you came to birth, I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). This was the quote; it was the subtitle of one of the chapters. These were God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah. When I read these words, I strongly felt that God was saying them to me. In this moment, I felt like someone was touching my shoulder, and I began to feel a serene peace and had a supernatural knowledge that God was truly calling me to the priesthood.
I cannot say that I have been totally faithful to this grace because, later on, I started to take the wrong path. But I never forgot this experience. And this memory came back to mind a while later when suffering the temptation to be unfaithful to the call.
On top of all the temptations that a young person generally has to face in these moments and at this age, I also had to face a psychological temptation. At least for a time, it was something that I was not able to overcome. I am talking about the fact that I have a very introverted personality. Things like being the center of attention or having to speak in public terrified me. And, therefore, the thought of being a priest was absurd, impossible. I thought: “If I were called to be a priest, I don’t know how I would be able to overcome this horrible shyness. A priest has to be the first one to go out of his way and speak to people. He constantly has to speak in public. He has to be a leader. He has to be a shepherd. I am incapable of doing these things. This is ridiculous. It seems like God is playing a bad joke on me.” But one day, while reading the book of Exodus, I was left in shock. Moses, when he was called by God, had a very similar temptation. After having been called by God, he complained about not being able to carry out the mission because, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and tongue” (Ex 4:10).
In spite of everything, I have slowly learned during the past ten years that God calls whoever He wants, and it certainly seems like He prefers the weakest, the least suitable; He likes to show His strength through our weakness. Perhaps it is a difficult concept to understand, and it goes directly against the worldly way of thinking, but if God calls you, He will make you able, with His grace, to carry out the mission that He has entrusted to you. Pray for my fidelity. God bless you.
«The Lord’s Fidelity, to the Church and to the Home»
By Fr. Andrew Krische, S.H.M.
Shortly before my priestly ordination, I began to say to myself: “Finally.” Both with joy and with peace, I said: “Finally.” Thanks to God and to His mercy, I am now a priest. I firmly believe that my ordination has taken place when it was supposed to.
Months before I was ordained, I began to prepare myself more intensively. I was also very busy with Summer Camps for youth, moving the Servant Brothers’ house in Rome, etc. All of this apostolate, community work, and other moments of greater recollection that I was able to have,helped me, in a way, in my preparation for the priesthood.
The greatest thing that I do as a priest every day is celebrate Mass. On one hand, I prepare the Liturgy of the Word and try to live it well. His Word purifies our reality. I always try to prepare myself by going through the Sacred Scripture readings and praying about what I am going to preach.
At the same time, the Liturgy of the Word prepares us and brings us to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, which is the most intense and mysterious moment of my ministry. In the Ordination, after the laying on of hands and the Consecration, I felt like Jesus was within me in a new way.
In moments like the Consecration, you can see through faith and experience, according to the Lord’s plans, that He acts in you and through you. He is the one who consecrates and gives Himself over for our wellbeing. Confession has also become a moment of very great grace. It is overwhelming to see how the Lord acts through you in such a strong way, with His power to forgive and to restore.
We priests are called to participate in a special way in His work of conversion and change of heart.
Besides these particularly impactful moments, I feel like the Lord has entrusted me with a new mission and He is giving me the grace to fulfill it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t notice my humble self anymore, but I do experience the Lord’s strength that desires to save and to heal me and all souls. I am currently living in Rome and am continuing my studies. We celebrate our weekday Masses very early in the morning in the Church of Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Petronius. It is a very prayerful Mass. Our house is also really close to the church named Saint Andrew in the Valley. I went there to give thanks to my patron saint and to La Madonna della Purità.
I pray to the Lord and Our Lady that this new ministry may bear lasting fruit, in spite of my mistakes and defects, and that I may faithfully serve the Lord, the Church, and the Home. I ask you all to pray for me, to be able to delve more deeply into the gift and responsibility that the Lord has given me and to be able to carry out this mission with dedication. I will remember all of you, especially in my prayers and in the Holy Mass. Ask Our Lady to help me and all of the Servant Brothers and Priests, so that through her we might be good priests for her Son.
© HM Magazine; nº206 January-February 2019