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Monsignor Sell's September 6th Article

Monsignor Sell's September 6th Article

  • Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
  • 6 September 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord:

I’ve been asked to introduce myself to the parish.  Allow me to begin by expressing my gratitude for the welcoming community that I have found here at St. Elizabeth Seton.  You have honored me with the sincerity and heartfelt greetings that I have received.  I look forward to the future years of ministry with and among you.

My journey to the priesthood began in Baltimore, Maryland; where my father’s brother, my Uncle Kenny, was in the seminary.  I remember visitations during the summer for baseball games in the field behind our house; and football games in the fall.  After either Uncle Ken and his classmates stayed for a meal with the family and then returned to the seminary.  My young mind and heart were impressed with the possibility of following in their footsteps and becoming a priest when I grew up.  That hope changed quite a bit when our family got moved to West Virginia and then to Ohio because dad got switched around by the Railroad to work in various terminals for maintenance or personnel challenges.

I began to think that the Franciscans would be a good place to go and study for priesthood.  When that door seemed to close, the diocesan priesthood in Cleveland, Ohio, became my chosen pathway.  As part of my seminary training I was asked to study and undertake voice lessons at the Cleveland Institute of Music, which I did for three years.  The result was a conflict for the faculty of the seminary, most of whom felt I needed to decide on either an Opera career or the priesthood, but not both.  That resulted in my leaving the seminary and, after a sixteen month hiatus, joining the diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana as a candidate for Orders.  I was ordained for our diocese in September 1978 and was assigned to St. Ambrose in Anderson, IN; for three years and then to St. Charles Borromeo in Peru, IN; for two years before being chosen to attend Graduate Studies in Rome for a degree in Canon Law.

It was in Rome that I had the blessing of working with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Saint John Paul II before returning to our diocese and serving with Bishop Higi for twenty-two years as the Chancellor, Moderator and Vicar General of the diocese.  In 2013 I returned to St. Ambrose in Anderson and served there until my assignment here to St. Elizabeth Seton this year.  Over the forty-two years of priestly ministry I have learned the importance of prayer, service and sharing life’s challenges with those to whom I have been sent.  I look forward to doing that together with all of you so that we all do our best to build up the Kingdom of God among us.  Peace be with you, Monsignor Sell