Ministry Magnified His Heart
Recently ordained Fr. Patric Nikolas SDS, has hit the ground running. In just his first month as a Salvatorian priest he presided at three weddings, three baptisms and a funeral, scripture discussion groups, anointings, special anniversary blessings, weekday and all weekend Masses, including regular preaching as he covered for another priest on medical leave. He also completed the hiring processes with Divine Savior Holy Angels High School (DSHA), which is sponsored by our Salvatorian Sisters, and Cardinal Stritch University in preparation for his full-time position this fall, teaching college prep theology at DSHA, all while attempting to find time to prepare for those classes, which began in August. "My spirits remained high and I loved being a new priest, but I admit the work was daunting at times.
But, after finishing the last scheduled wedding, with a normalized calendar just around the corner, I realized that I was feeling melancholy, even sorrowful," said Fr. Patric. "My heart expanded throughout that first month of priesthood, and my capacities along with it. I became and remain very confident, and know I am capable to do whatever God needs from me. I also saw that I cared about the people I served. Their happiness was my happiness; I empathized with their struggles and wanted to do whatever I could to help them. I realized that the discipline of serving them had in itself actualized my joy. It was my honeymoon."
Fr. Patric is teaching theology full-time, five class periods Monday through Friday. The "focus" is found in the courses themselves: New Testament and World Religions this fall, and Christology and Church History next spring. His approach to day-one at the high school was to be prepared, while also fully recognizing that it would require a lot of improvisation and spontaneity as he continues to learn how to meaningfully interact at a young women's prep school all day every day. "I hope to have properly served God by positively impacting the lives of these young women throughout the year," he said. "Not only by imparting good information but also by providing a spiritually formative and relevant experience that they will treasure."