Our new seminarian, soon-to-be-deacon, Geoff Mooney has arrived at Christ the King! We are very pleased to welcome as he prepares to be ordained a deacon (in September, at the same as Deacon Gil’s ordination to the priesthood) and ordained a priest in April. (At this point we don’t have firm details about Fr. Mike Palmer’s transition to his new assignment, but I’ll keep you posted as we find out.) Here are a few words of introduction from Geoff.
Dear Christ the King family,
It was Christmas Break of my fourth year teaching high school and the final week of 2012. Just hours after returning from Midnight Mass with my family, I boarded an airplane bound for Rome to meet up with a group of Notre Dame graduates from the ACE program. On our pilgrimage to the Eternal City, we toured the Coliseum and the Vatican museums, celebrated vespers inside St. Peter’s Basilica, took a train ride to Assisi, and watched fireworks from the rooftop of the Holy Cross Generalate on New Year’s Eve. We took in all the sights and sounds (and tastes) of Rome, and for this I still have great memories, but perhaps the greatest personal impact of the pilgrimage came from an opportunity to spend a week in prayer and fellowship with young adults discerning God’s call for their lives in a place where so many Christians over the centuries—saints and sinners alike—had done the very same thing.
Though the first stirrings of a vocation to religious life for me came much earlier, this trip provided me the gentle push I needed to reach out to others and share how I thought God was calling me. Growing up in southern Indiana, I attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through my senior year of high school, as did my younger sister and brother. As one fairly active in my family’s home parish as a lector, musician, and member of the youth group, I still credit my pastor, youth ministers, and teachers to this day with unfolding for me the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith from the Scriptures to the sacraments to the witness of the saints. When looking to go off to college, I knew I wanted to attend a Catholic school, and I entered the University of Notre Dame where I encountered the Congregation of Holy Cross for the first time fifteen summers ago.
During my four years at Notre Dame, I lived in Alumni Hall while singing in the Notre Dame Folk Choir. My favorite locations on campus quickly became my dorm chapel and the choir loft inside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. From these places I experienced powerful Holy Cross preaching and met trusted mentors in campus ministry and residential life. Midway through my time at Notre Dame, I learned about the ACE program and felt a call to serve in Catholic education after the example of so many who had influenced me. I graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 with majors in mathematics and theology, and within a few months I began teaching at Pensacola Catholic High School in Florida. Over the course of five years in Pensacola, I coached cross country and track, taught religious education at a local parish, and stumbled into a diocesan young adult faith sharing group. I loved deeply my ACE housemates, my students, my coworkers, and my adopted city, and through them I began to feel another call, an intensifying tug at my heart toward dedicated ministry and community. Coming back from Rome in the midst of all this, I recognized an invitation from God that I could no longer pass up.
I entered Holy Cross as a postulant in 2014, professed first vows in 2016, and now approach final profession and diaconate ordination this upcoming Labor Day weekend. During my years of formation, I have had the chance to return to Alumni Hall as an assistant rector, sing again with my choir, and experience Holy Cross ministries and visit Holy Cross religious across the country as well as in Canada, East Africa, France, and even back again in Rome. I am thrilled to be welcomed here at Christ the King as I begin full-time ministry in Holy Cross. Between the parish and the school, it feels so much like home in a community grounded in love and faith. Even as we alternate between in-person and virtual environments these days, please introduce yourself to me and know that I look forward to meeting all of you. Let us all pray for each other, our Church, and our world.
Geoffrey Mooney, c.s.c.
Please join me in welcoming Geoff to our parish!