Deacon George's reflections

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Jeff Chichester

Home Parish: Saint Luke the Evangelist, Livingston County.

Year you entered the seminary? What did you do before you entered the seminary? Why did you enter the seminary?
I began formation for the priesthood in 2011. I studied biology and ecology in college and worked in various positions in the field of ecology and environmental science. I enjoyed this very much, as I always had a love for the natural world and the outdoors. Aside from the pure delight that I felt in my chosen profession, I also felt satisfied that I was carrying out an essential service to society and the world around me.

What was one of the major influences leading you to consider priesthood?
At a certain point, however, I had to acknowledge the nagging feeling that although I was very happy with what I was doing, deep down in the very core of my being it just didn’t feel like I was doing with my life what God had intended.  Soon after this, I realized something: even though I was doing something very good for myself and my community, I never included God in these plans of mine.  At that point I prayed. I prayed to God and asked what He would have me do:  Should I continue doing what I had been happily doing, in the sure knowledge that I had His blessings, or was I meant for something else; something unrealized as of yet?  It wasn’t too long afterward that I began to think about the priesthood, thoughts I realized I had experienced periodically throughout my life that needed to be explored.

Throughout my discernment and formation, I have relied upon many saints for inspiration and intercession.  The sacrifice of Saint Maximilian Kolbe has touched me deeply, ever since I heard of his story; I have also depended on the prayers of my fellow Upstate New Yorkers, Saints Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha.  Recently I have been attempting to incorporate St. Benedict’s rule into my life.  As such, I have been praying for his intercessions along with another Benedictine, St. Bede the Venerable.

April  2, 2017
The Raising of Lazrus

It is said in scripture that after the raising of Lazarus, many of those who saw this event came to believe. We must ask ourselves if we believe. We, who assume the roles of Martha and Mary, are asked as Martha was “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

 So, do you believe that Jesus calls you to enjoy the fullness of his life now? Do you believe that Jesus is now calling you out of any tomb you may be in? Do you believe that even now Jesus is saying to you, “Be unbound and go free?” Let us today accept Jesus’ invitation, let us walk out of any tomb we may be in and allow ourselves to be unbound and go free.

 What is our response? When we talk about the resurrection do we speak with the awe and wonder that should accompany the greatest gift ever offered

 Dear friends we are entering the final days of our Lenten journey. The high Holy Days are rushing upon us and we are challenged again – Do you believe this? Our actions must reflect our words and the Love of Christ must flow from us as it flowed to Lazarus whom Jesus called back to himself as he calls us.

We can still clean up some of the clutter of our lives and begin to put God at the center.  Let’s clear out the clutter so that come Easter, that Resurrection glory will be shining in our lives.

Deacon George





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