On Friday 29 May 2015 at St. Mary’s, Bishop Guglielmone ordained Father Roger Morgan and Father Richard Wilson to the priesthood for the Diocese of Charleston. Father Morgan will celebrate his first Solemn Mass at 11 am on Sunday 31 May 2015 at St. Mary’s, and in early June he will begin his first assignment as Parochial Vicar at Star of the Sea, North Myrtle Beach.
Dear Friends in Christ,
“You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” These words of St. Paul remind us of the central truth of our faith: through the life, death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our participation in the Body of Christ, His Church, we have received the Spirit that makes us children of God, his adopted sons and daughters. No longer are we children of a fallen world, enslaved to sin and death; we have been set free, and are called to live in joy and righteousness as we await the glorious inheritance we have been promised.
These words are especially poignant to me this day as I look back on my journey to the priesthood and my ordination this past Friday evening here at St. Mary’s. Seminary formation is a long and challenging road, and the spirit of slavery and fear is an ever-present temptation for a man aware of his unworthiness. This is true for all of us who are Christians, no matter our path. At times it can seem that our crosses are too heavy, too burdensome, that we can never live up to the Lord’s example of self-giving love, that to live by faith is just too difficult. It is tempting to lay our crosses down, and settle for life at a safe distance from God. At these times we must remember the words of St. Paul and cry out, “Abba, Father!” In the homily for the inauguration of his papacy, Saint John Paul II said, “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power,” and these words have helped guide the Church ever since. Unworthy though we are, God has nevertheless loved us beyond all measure, saved us from our sins, and called us to live eternally with him in the communion of the Most Holy Trinity. Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!
To every member of this parish family, I thank you for all your support throughout my formation. Without your prayers and friendship I could not have responded to or persevered in answering God’s call. It was here at St. Mary’s that I first began to hear the Lord calling me to serve his Church as a priest, and it was in no small part through conversations with other members of the parish who simply asked me, “Have you ever thought of being a priest?” I thank you all for your encouragement, and for helping me to discover my vocation. Please continue to pray for me, that I may be a servant after the Heart of Christ.
Father Roger Morgan