Remarkable things are discoverable at your parish if you do a little research. On this 85th anniversary of the founding of St. Sebastian Parish we had three priests return to the parish to celebrate their 50th anniversaries. They were all ordained on the same day along with another classmate who has since passed away. There is a relatively well known picture of them just before their ordination day standing around a clock with the founding pastor of the parish, each pointing to a time on the clock indicating what time their First Mass of Thanksgiving would on that Sunday. 50 years later to the day they returned to have Mass. But this time all at the same hour.
Here are some interesting things we dug up to help celebrate the day:
150: The number of years these three priests have ministered as ordained clergy to the people of this diocese. That is a century and a half!
51: Another priest ordained from this parish a year before joined them.
201: The total number of years of them together. This is almost as many years as there has been a United States of America.
As a side note, there was a visiting missionary that weekend also who was celebrating 52 years and I could through in my very modest 16 as of tomorrow bringing the total number of years in the sanctuary to 269!
27: The total number of men ordained to the priesthood from this parish since its inception in 1928.
1,214: This number represents the total number of years priests ordained from this parish have served SO FAR. That’s a millennium and a lot of spare change!
2: The number of seminarians currently in the seminary from this parish.
5: The number of pastors that this parish has had over the past 85 years.
38: This is the number of parochial vicars that have served this parish over the years. 38 men were supported by their parents, relatives, and friends, were prayed for and encouraged by their parishes, to go to seminary and become priests with the understanding that they most likely would minister to someone else. The idea is that those other communities, where they sent their sons, would also encourage vocations so that sons of other parishes might come to their parish and minister to them, making sure that Christ was present and given to them as Eucharist, to bring pardon to sinners, to preach the Gospel, to counsel those who need it, to teach, and to administer. Remember that and pray for vocations, encourage young men in your parish, and foster a culture of vocations.