Monday, January 05, 2009

Leaving a Noble Vocation for a Higher One

I saw a similar article posted on another blog last month on this young man. Shame on me for not posting this earlier like I had intended...

...from 'da job' to THE JOB...


from the NY Post
November 3rd 2008

A former cop is preparing to go from hearing the confessions of criminals to the confessions of everyday sinners - as a Catholic priest.
Nicholas Fernandez, 25, traded in his gun and badge for a Bible and rosary in August, resigning from the NYPD after 2½ years so he could enroll at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers for six years of study.

"When I was a police officer . . . complete strangers would come up to me with their problems because of the uniform I had on. Now it will be because of the collar I wear," said the Staten Island native.

"I remember I told my partner first," said Fernandez, who used to patrolled Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay while at the 61st Precinct.

"He thought I was going to tell him to tell the lieutenant I might be late. I guess this was the last thing he expected." Fernandez, the eldest of six children and the son of an Irish mom and a Spanish dad, explained that what he saw on the beat led him to God.

"I came across concrete examples of what Pope John Paul II called the 'culture of death' - suicides, homicides and domestic situations where children are being neglected or abused or were part of drug-dominated homes," he said.
For such troubled souls, he said, there was "no external solution" he could offer as a cop.

"There needs to be a change of heart on the inside - and that's where a priest is needed," Fernandez said.

As a former Police Officer, I tended to have a pretty clear, though somewhat narrow view of what bravery and courage were. Like the firefighters, Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and other brave men who've served in similar vocations, I viewed the apex of bravery to be the willingness to sacrifice ones own life for the sake of another. It was those who answered these calls to duty that sat atop my 'Top Shelf' of manliness. You just cannot dispute any ones admiration for those who honorably serve in these callings.

But a few years back, as the 'Curly Red-haired Girl' known as my wife, with the help of the Blessed Mother, dragged me closer and closer to a real relationship with Christ and His Church, she got a gift that sealed the deal. We were blessed with a priest that was put in our lives that did more to change me than he would ever probably realize. I was privileged to see a truly brave man, unflinchingly, yet charitably speak on such matters as abortion, gay marriage, contraception and premarital sex, to a liberal Catholic audience that was in no way ready to hear his message. He got a hard time for some of his homilies. The Cassock he wore made some role their eyes as it did not resemble the 'Mister Rogers' look they'd grown more accustomed to. But anyone with a real set of eyes saw something that I view as what is hopefully the new norm of the Catholic Church.


It was this type of priest that provided the final tug back into the Church that my sorry behind needed so badly. God knew what I needed to get me fully on board with my faith. While people like cops and firemen and Marines will always be "Top Shelf" in my order of manly respect, there is now a mantle placed above this shelf. It is a mantle set aside for those with the courage to answer Gods calling to be a priest. Priests that are true to the Magisterium and to Gods teachings.

Nicholas Fernandez, you have my unceasing prayers that you will be one of the priests on this mantle. The fact that you are brave enough to answer this call from God in this day and age alone tells me what type of cop you must have been. Now please, go forth and serve Him with the same courage and dedication you served the people of New York. We will all be blessed in you having done so.

link to article: Click here.

Saint Michael the Archangel...
Defend us in battle!!!


Blogger the Egyptian said...

One look at that face and you see a depth that seems to be missing in so many priests that I have seen over the years. And if he can maintain the posture and fitness that shows in the pic, the youth will flock to him, keep it up officer, we need your type in this screwed up world.

God Bless

7:36 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


Father Whatawaste, anyone? =P

Yeah, right . . . We need so many more brave priests like him.

Great post!

4:30 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Oh look at that baby face. Was he 12 when he went to the academy? Parishioners will be mistaking him for an altar boy for years. God bless him and keep him safe in the seminary.

10:58 AM  
Blogger TCN said...

Fr. Whatawaste was my first thought! But you know,that always comes with a sincere appreciation of the sacrifice of the brave and noble priest who takes his vocation seriously and fights the good fight. God bless our new generation of holy priests.

11:34 AM  
Blogger nypd green said...

Fr. Whatawaste??? LOL!

I can see you ladies are quite capable of cavedwelling behavior yourselves!!!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Wow: a future patron saint of policemen!

(I'm sure St. Michael won't mind giving him a piece of the action...)

4:50 PM  

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