A Look Into Parish Life
May 24th, 2023
1 hr 3 mins 26 secs
About this Episode
(00:03) Join Fr. Craig Giera and Fr. David Pellican as they welcome Fr. John Dudek to this episode of "Men of the Hearts." They discuss current events, upcoming weddings, and graduations, sharing personal stories and creating a sense of community.
(10:35) Short Vocation Story: Fr. John Dudek was previously married, and has two daughters. After an annulment, he entered seminary and has been assigned to Divine Child parish for two years, serving the school and the parish. He was recently asked by Archbishop Vigneron to transfer to St. Regis Parish. They discuss Fr. John’s time at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Boston, a school for “late in life vocations” to the priesthood.
(25:15) After 26 years as a teacher, when Fr. John entered seminary, he believed he would never be back in the school system. “Those days are behind me.” He was surprised to feel joy at being stationed at a parish with an elementary school and realized that “God uses everything.” During his time in seminary, he felt the Lord telling him when he stood at the altar, “This is your new classroom.” They discuss Camp Sancta Maria, a Catholic summer camp Fr. John attended in 8th grade and returned to this summer as the priest chaplain.
(31:27) Living a time of lasts: the three priests reflect on the reality of being moved to new assignments and living in obedience to the Archbishop. They talk about living close to God’s heart as they leave behind communities they’ve poured themselves into, projects they’ve started, and relationships they formed. They share stories of simple or practical mistakes they’ve made during sacraments or Mass. They share a conversation about community life and sharing a rectory at Divine Child. The episode ends with Fr. David Pellican sharing about what his life will look like in Rome, living arrangements, studies, and wisdom from priests friends.
(56:05) A word of encouragement: “You go off to the seminary wandering if you’re worthy to serve as a priest. And then you’re ordained, and you realize you’re an instrument God is using to help His people. It’s humbling and it's beautiful.” Fr. John shares, “If you’ve ever thought or wondered what it would be like to be a priest, you need to reach out to Fr. Craig, the vocations director.”