Posted January 1st, 2014 | Grace Before Meals, New Year
Time for Transition!

Happy New Year to you and your families!

At the beginning of this year, our Grace Before Meals team has a very special announcement. We put together a video to describe a transition that I’ll be making in my priestly assignment.

 Click to watch the video and learn about the exciting things that are happening this year!

As of January 1, 2014, I’ve received permission from the Archbishop of Baltimore to pursue an application to join a Community of Consecrated Life, called Voluntas Dei (A Latin Phrase that means, “The Will of God”).  This is a Secular Institute of Pontifical Rite.  This is a unique group of priests, celibate laymen, and consecrated married couples.  I have been discerning this group for the past seven years!

The charism of this community is to be like the Virgin Mary at the annunciation, saying “yes” to God’s will!  Voluntas Dei per Mariam Immaculatam.

For me, that practically means that if accepted into Voluntas Dei, I will continue my priestly work but with a special consecration.  The Archbishop has given me the assignment to be a supplemental sacramental and pastoral minister, basically on a part time level, helping out parishes within the Archdiocese of Baltimore as needed. At the same time, this will allow me to focus on the work of Evangelization in the modern world, and particularly direct my energies towards the Grace Before Meals apostolate.

There is so much more exciting news to tell you about this community, its wonderfully practical spirituality, and the good work that they do in the name of the Catholic Church. But, more will come in upcoming emails, newsletters, video posts and email blasts.

For now, I want to offer you this important news, to ask for your prayers, trust in mine for you, and to wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Questions and Considerations
(1)  What do you discern as God’s will for you this year?
(2)  Send Fr. Leo and the Grace Before Meals team a prayer or request?
(3)  In this year, consider bringing the Grace Before Meals message and Fr. Leo as a speaker or presenter at your next event.
Your comments and questions will help keep our focus and energies on bringing more people to the Table!  Post your comments below.

Let us pray:

We bless your name, O Lord, for sending your own incarnate Son to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would experience its worries and its joys.  We ask you Lord, to protect and watch over this family, so that in the strength of your grace, its members may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace, and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to your glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Prayer for Families from the Book of Blessings, the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN 1989)
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Posted in Grace Before Meals, New Year | 13 Comments

13 Responses to “Time for Transition!”

  • I believe that Our Lord wants me to FINALLY learn to eat right and take care of my body. I have let myself get grossly overweight and out of shape. I have spent many years being a single mother and focusing totally on my children and their needs and when they were gone, focusing on my clients and never giving a thought to the temple that God has given me. I know that I will have years more life to devote to Him if I take better care of me. It starts now.
    Happy New Year!

    Posted by Jackie on January 1st, 2014 at 11:45 am.
  • To love God more and more. To continue to go to daily Mass and Communion.
    To learn to fast.
    To pray constantly for my children to return to the Catholic church and to overcome their difficulties.
    To pray for my spiritual director and for all priests and religious.
    o always be thankful for blessings and sorrown.
    To pray for my husbands good health and for all my children and their families especially for my grandchildren.

    Posted by Carol on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:18 pm.
  • Fr. Leo – Just saw your video blast about the Archbishop granting you permission to apply to Voluntas Dei – Congratulations!

    I know you will do an amazing job at bringing the Lord to the unchurched, those who have fallen away, or do not practice on a regular basis – an effort greatly needed as almost 70% of our baptized catholic family have fallen into this last group. I know you are filled with passion, God’s gifts and Will and have everything you need to make this mission a success, yet do know that you will be in my daily prayers for continued peace, vigor and all that you need to stay energized.

    If there is any support I can ever provide to you, please do let me know.

    With prayers and congratulations,
    Lisa S

    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:23 pm.
  • Fr Leo,

    Happy New Year! I am glad this really came true. Wish you luck!!!


    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:25 pm.
  • My prayers for you, Fr. Leo, and more power to your evangelical pursuits. Dulce de Pala from Los Angeles

    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:26 pm.
  • May God grant all of your needs on your new endeavors and whatever His will is for your life in 2014. Thank you, Fr. Leo. Remain strong in God’s Love.

    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:26 pm.
  • Congratulations on your new transition. You will be great at this evangelization wherever it takes you in this world. If my memory serves me correctly, Fr. Gerard is involved with this community and has meetings once a month at St. John. I remember well your many homilies and how well you presented your message. God has given you a great gift and you have used it to spread the Gospel well!

    God Bless you in this new endeavor.


    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:27 pm.
  • That’s super! Many blessings. Know how the Lord moves us closer to him. Great work ahead. Happy 2014 to you and your family.

    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:27 pm.
  • Thank you for saying yes an for being open to God’s Will. Remember, even Bl. Mother Teresa heard “a call within a call.”

    Transitions are never easy, but they are always EXCITING!

    Peace and all good!
    Sister Julianna

    Posted by Fr. Leo on January 2nd, 2014 at 2:28 pm.
  • Hi Fr Leo,
    Congratulations on this awesome sounding transition! I am truly excited for you in the New Evangelization component especially the Parish missions and retreats aspect of this ministry (which I hope to be in contact with you soon to book a date for our Parish!) I too am discerning, as a lay person, what it is God is calling me to. I am now on the New Evangelization committee at our Parish, volunteering in the parish office and helping start up a Parish Community Nurse Program. All the best in 2014!
    Peace, Blessings & Joy in the New Year!
    Phyllis Schmerbeck

    Posted by Phyllis Schmerbeck on January 2nd, 2014 at 3:36 pm.
  • Fr. Leo,
    i’m so glad for you and know that new journey will be fruitful.
    You’re in my prayers.

    Posted by MARY JOAN ROURKE on January 2nd, 2014 at 10:53 pm.
  • Father Leo,
    Your homily and talks at our recent parish retreat in Kittanning have inpsired me to make every effort to live a more Holy life that honors my God and those around me that i love. My desire for this year is to be forgiven by those that i have hurt and to have a greater desire to forgive those around me. For Christmas, i gave each one of my 5 grown children a copy of Spicing Up Married Life with the hope that reading and living it will inspire them to realize the importance of family time and how working together on the many issues that face us in our daily lives is the way to live out our faith. May His Peace and Blessings rest on you as you undertake this new calling in your life!
    Thank you!
    Dave Rupert

    Posted by Dave Rupert on January 3rd, 2014 at 10:00 am.
  • The Lord often works in strange and mysterious ways. . in this case, your new assignment. Congratulations; it’s uplifting to see the local Church hierarchy realizes your God-given talents and need to share these with the faithful and general public.

    I came to know you at St. Johns in Westminster. We’ve never formally met, but my wife and I always enjoyed encountering you at Sunday Mass. Your sermons were wonderful because they were “personal”, rather than the more-common canned or scripted speeches. This is appreciated because I’m an old guy who grew up listening to bishops Fulton J. Sheen and Austin T. Murphy. Your talks/sermons and behavior are very similar . . even though your are not as tall as them.

    Remain humble and attentive to the service-needs of others. You are justifiably a rising star in the Church;your “Grace Before Meals” ministry is apparently a big success.

    Rich & Margaret Nicolaus

    Posted by Richard Nicolaus on January 18th, 2014 at 2:22 pm.

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