I cannot begin to thank all you here at Christ the King for the prayers and support you have given me during my final months of preparation for the priesthood. It was so meaningful to see many of you at my ordination Mass, at my First Mass, and at other times that weekend as you shared well wishes and congratulations.
I am so grateful to God who, in His Providence, has placed me in this parish family as I learn how to be a priest. I will count on your continued prayers to support me as I continue to make this transition into presbyteral ministry. I just finished saying my first all-school Mass for our school kids, and it is such a humbling experience to look out at our teachers, staff and students, as I have the privilege to offer the Blessed Sacrament with and for you. God is the source of all our gifts, and there is no gift greater that we can offer back to God than the gift of his Son really present in the Eucharist.
In the next couple of weeks, I will spend some time with my family in southeast Kansas, and will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at my home parish, St. Patrick’s in Parsons, on April 20. Please remember me and my family in your prayers in a special way on that day.
After you are first ordained a priest, you have the opportunity to go and say Masses at places that have been important for you in your life and along your vocation journey. Sunday evening, for my second Mass, I was able to say Mass in the chapel of Keough Hall at Notre Dame, which is the dorm I lived in for two years and where I first met the Congregation of Holy Cross. Last Tuesday, I presided at Mass in the Log Chapel, which serves as the main place of worship for the men of Old College, the Holy Cross undergraduate seminary at Notre Dame. Both of these places were significant places of prayer for me while I lived in those communities. Even more, I was thrilled to be able to offer my first Mass here, and many of you got to meet my mom and dad, Jerry and Carolyn Waugh, my brother, Dylan, and my sister and brother-in-law, Bailey and Alex Kuhlman. They were so impressed with the sense of community here, and are glad to know that that I am surrounded by such a supportive parish family.
Thank you all so much, and I look forward to serving Christ the King as a priest. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!