Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am honored and blessed to be your new pastor here at Families in Faith Catholic Community. For those of you whom I have not yet met, I look forward to getting to know all of you who make up this wonderful faith community. I took over as pastor officially on July 1, and I wish to thank Fr. Antony for all of his guidance in helping me with this transition.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to learn about Families in Faith last year, as I filled in for Fr. Antony for six months while he was on sabbatical.
A little about myself and my background. I am from Kerala, India, and during my formative years, I was touched by the tender mercy and providence of God in an extraordinary way.
For several years, we would have parish Masses offered at our home once a month while our parish was acquiring a new church building. During that time, I got to know the priests well, and that sowed a seed of love for the priestly life in my heart. I would say this was the first time I began to feel the call to the priesthood.
My parents were devout Catholics, and they helped nurture my vocation. I also had three brothers and two sisters — I lost one of my younger brothers in an accident in 2004 — so there are only five of us left. All of my siblings live in India.
Over time, I began to sense that God was calling me to a profoundly special and meaningful way of life. Seeking to follow His beloved will, I entered a seminary of the Salesians of Don Bosco in India. I was ordained to the priesthood in 1990.
As a young priest, I worked at a school in India for six years, and then went to Sicily, Italy, for 10 years, due to the lack of priestly vocations there. I was only required to stay in Italy for two years, but I chose to stay for 10 and work at a social service center, where I came across many people from Ghana and Sri Lanka. Every weekend, I ended up offering one Mass in Italian, one in Tamil, and one in English. It was a very interesting, amazing experience! And each year for a period of 10 years, I spent two and a half months serving and offering Masses in the United States; nine months in Italy, and two weeks in India.
This was a unique experience and I’m immensely grateful to God for it. Now I’m here as your pastor, and I firmly believe that it is also in the plan of God. God leads me to places where I least expect to be. And accepting God’s plan gives me great joy in the long run.
I look forward to serving you and getting to know this parish community more in the coming months and years and continuing to help stewardship and discipleship grow at Families in Faith.
Sincerely yours in Christ and His Mother,
Fr. Lawrence Vaddakan