October 11, 2020 Dear friends, It is very natural for parishioners to teem with curiosity at the arrival of their new priest, so I’m going to try to fill in the gaps.
I was born in Chicago, Illinois to Steven and Dori, and my siblings are Hillary (10 years older, married to three children, living in Connecticut) and Tom (6 1/2 years older, married, and living in Grand Rapids). We moved to Grand Rapids when I was four years old.
The biggest milestone for my family was our conversion to Catholicism when I was eight. Prior to that event, my family seemed to attend whichever protestant church had the best preaching and community in which to contextualize their own search for Jesus and the truth. Our move to Grand Rapids changed everything. First of all, our local public elementary school was a rather untenable option. So, we attended the local Catholic school. My parents were drawn to attend our parish, Saint Thomas the Apostle in Grand Rapids, and we all converted. Our growing fascination with consult Catholicism ran off on me, and that began my desire for the priesthood.
Skipping over many details for the sake of brevity, I entered seminary straight out of high school, and there I learned a new sort of happiness greater even than childhood innocence. Despite my sins and wounds and those parts of my heart that I feared, the Lord loves me and chooses to live in my heart. Every homily I preach is rooted in this sure knowledge. Seminary told me that the resurrection is real and that I cannot rest until I bring that message to the world. This is the reason why I became a priest. That is an overly brief autobiography, but it will have to do for now. We will get to know and understand each other more in due time. In the meantime, I will endeavor to be a good priest for the cluster. In Christ, Father Andrew