Sunday, May 17, 2015

Be Not Afraid; Attending Fr. Mauricio's First Mass

                                            Fr. Mauricio Liturgy of the Eucharist (Photo Credit Susie Rangel)

I was so blessed to be invited to Fr. Mauricio Fernandez-Boscan's First Mass celebrated at St. Bruno's parish in Dousman, Wisconsin today. Fr. Mauricio, one of two men ordained to the Priesthood in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Saturday, is a native of Venezuela and was a great friend to me over the years. This day was such a  beautiful culmination of the years of study and formation Fr. Mauricio undertook in the seminary. The fact that Mauricio followed the call of the Lord to Milwaukee to work toward becoming a priest always captivated me. I can't imagine traveling to an entirely different country, having to adjust to customs, languages and cultures, all while continuing to work on deepening your Catholic faith. It is so true that Christ will call you to leave your comfort zone, to abandon what you are familiar with and to trust in His plan for you completely. Fr. Mauricio showed no fear and followed the Lord through it all. Fr. Mauricio showed the same courage and strength that the apostles showed in today's Gospel reading of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord as they left the city of Jerusalem and traveled to the ends of the Earth to bring the Good News.

                                             Fr. Mauricio embracing his mother                                                                                                                                                                         (Photo Credit: Heather Mezydlo)

As Mass concluded today, all of those leaving were all greeted by Mexican music and dancing as Fr. Mauricio greeted parishoners and prayed first blessings upon all of us. At one point, Fr. Mauricio joined hands with others circling around the musicians in a beautiful expression of worship and joy. Fr. Mauricio's joy and his warm smile are infectious and they will serve him well in his priesthood. We as a community need a priest who not only preaches and teaches the faith with reverence, but also with the joy and love that God wants each of us to experience. 

                                                Fr. Mauricio greeting well-wishers after Mass (Photo Credit Susie Rangel)

Fr. Mauricio is well equipped with the tools to be a great shepherd and missionary for the kingdom, courage to follow the Lord and the joy of the Gospel. I am so grateful to know him, to celebrate with him and to continue to pray for him as he begins his priestly ministry. Fr. Mauricio is assigned to St. John Paul II parish on Milwaukee's South Side and be a great sign of Christ's love and fellowship to the growing Hispanic population in the area. Even more great things are in store for Fr. Mauricio and I can't wait to see his story continue. God bless you Fr. Mauricio! Know of all of our prayers for you as you proclaim the Gospel to all the ends of the earth!

                                                Fr. Mauricio processing into church (Photo Credit: Heather Mezydlo)

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