CV NEWS FEED // A graduate of a Catholic high school in New York recently returned to his alma mater for a visit—but he also came as a priest to celebrate Mass for the students.
Fr. Brendan Foley credited his high school, Seton Catholic Central (SCC,) for laying the foundation for his call to the priesthood. As he returned to the school to say Mass, he hoped to “encourage the next generation to consider following his path,” local news outlet Spectrum News 1 reported.
A 2010 graduate of SCC, Foley said that the “spirit of family” at the school helped him prepare for his vocation in the future.
“I didn’t know that I wanted to be a priest when I left high school. But it was certainly something that had a great foundation coming out of these doors and leading me to what was next,” he told Spectrum News 1.
Foley went to the University of Scranton after high school, where he studied exercise science and wanted to be involved in “healing in some way.” Though at first he planned on healing as a physical therapist, he later discovered that God was calling him to heal as a priest instead.
He was ordained in 2021 and now serves as the parochial vicar at Holy Cross parish in Syracuse.
Spectrum News 1 reported that priests are becoming scarce in the dioceses of New York, as “a shortage of clergy across upstate New York is leading priests to sometimes cover two to three churches on their own.”
To combat New York’s lack of clergy, both Foley and SCC principal Pat Monachino hope that Foley’s visit inspired young Catholic men to join the priesthood as well.
“I think any time you can have anybody that’s young, that’s very relatable to our students here,” Monachino told Spectrum News 1. “I think that definitely does help them in their discerning process of trying to figure out what they want to do.”
“I absolutely just want each student here to be able to find their vocation and to live God’s calling for their life. And if I help a little bit in that journey today, praise God,” Foley added. “What a blessing to be a little part of it.”