Father Robert Jones, who was ordained Aug. 26, 2021, giives insight to BCW readers on his life as a priest.He serves St. John the Baptist, Avella, Pa. and St. Mary, Weirton, W. Va. His wife is Elizabeth (Liz).
What are your feelings on the transition to your new parishes?
Several days before my ordination I read Jesus telling his disciples “without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). I keep that Scripture verse in my mind ever since. Keeping that perspective, I just take one day at a time getting to know the people and learning what God sets before me.
Can you describe how the Seminary prepared you for this important moment in your life?
The Seminary provided me with the academic, human, liturgical, pastoral and spiritual formation necessary. The Seminary placed the human and information resources as a constant point reference and encouraged me to use them for further development. Every day is a learning day.
What kind of welcome have you received from your parishioners?
The parishioners at St John, Avella and St. Mary, Weirton have been extremely welcoming, enthusiastic and encouraging.
Has anything surprised you at your new parishes?
I was surprised by a run of five funerals since January 1.
Do you find that Sundays are quite busy for you because you are serving two parishes?
Each day is busy with sufficient requests and demands. The work of a priest is daily, more than just on Sundays. Praying always.
What did you talk about in your first homily?
On the 28th Sunday after Pentecost where only one of the ten lepers returned to thank Jesus. I spoke on giving thanks to God and cultivating daily gratitude.
Do you have any plans for your parishes that you would like to share with our BCW readers?
During Great Lent, we will begin discussions around the themes for a Synodal Church – communion, participation and mission.