Dear Parishioners of St. Mary’s,
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ and Mary, our Blessed Mother! It has been so good to begin my assignment here at St. Mary’s. I look forward to meeting more of you and getting to know you all better. I’m excited to see what the Lord does in our midst.
A little about myself. I grew up in Ohio. I graduated from the University of Dayton and then joined the Dominicans in 2004. I was ordained a priest in 2011, which has been the greatest grace of my life. I’ve been assigned to St. Catherine of Siena Priory in NYC, St. Gertrude Priory in Cincinnati, and St. Dominic Priory in Youngstown, Ohio. I’ve also spent six years living as a monk at the Carthusian monastery in Vermont. I returned to the Dominicans almost two years ago, discerning a strong call from the Lord to help others grow in the spiritual and mystical life. So it’s great to be among the very devoted people of St. Mary parish.
As I arrived at this parish whose patroness is St. Mary, I thought it would be a fitting opportunity to renew my consecration to our Blessed Mother. I started a 33 day program of Marian consecration a few days after I arrived. Near the end of it and without any planning, I discovered that the day of reconsecration happened to fall on the day of the Beatification of Fr. McGivney! It’s been wonderful to begin my time here under the patronage of Our Lady and our new Blessed whose tomb is in our church. May our time together continue to be surrounded by these Marian and priestly graces! I now have begun a book with a 33day consecration to St. Joseph in connection to our two churches and two patrons, St. Mary and St. Joseph. In St. Joseph church, as I look up into the sanctuary and see Christ seated on His throne, I often think of what the Letter to the Hebrews says about confidently drawing near to the throne of grace to receive every mercy and grace in time of need (4:16). Each one of our churches really is a “place of grace” and it’s been a joy to dwell there with you all.
Being a Dominican, what has most captured my heart about St. Dominic is what one of his contemporaries said of him: “He always spoke either to God or about God.” In prayer, he spoke to God and in handing on what he had contemplated, he spoke about God. In this spirit, I look forward to continuing to speak together with you to God and about God!
In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Ignatius Schweitzer, OP