I find it interesting that as I write this reflection for my 25th jubilee of ordination I am sitting in the place that to me has always been the spiritual source of my vocation. Everyone who has known me, even since childhood, has known that I am serious about my Lithuanian background.
The northernmost Catholic country in the world, the easternmost one in Europe, and the last European country to become Christian, it was the home my maternal grandparents left to begin a new life in America. And it was they, particularly my grandmother, whose faith helped to feed and form my own. And as I am helping out in our parish in my grandmother’s hometown, Kaunas, I feel their continued presence in my life in a special way.
So, as I look at 25 years as a priest, I see something that is so much a part of me that without the priesthood, I would feel as if I had no identity. I have also seen the Lord leading me, not only throughout these past 25 years, but also up to them. When I’m asked about why I decided to become a priest, the real answer is, in a way, I had no choice. It’s part of who I am. And I am grateful to God, that with all my faults and failings, my sins, that he continues to guide me and in the process, to help guide others as well.