Greetings in Christ
Greetings in Christ! My name is Father Neil Wack, C.S.C., and I’m the new Director of Vocations for the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross. That’s a pretty long title, I know, so it’s probably best to just call me Father Neil. I have been a Holy Cross priest for 11 years now, and it has been a blessed and joyful time. For those first eleven years I was in a Holy Cross parish, first in Colorado Springs, Colorado and then in my home parish of Christ the King in South Bend, Indiana. I grew up the youngest of ten children, where we never suffered from boredom with two girls and eight boys! My childhood was filled with the grace of living in a Catholic family. It is there that I first learned to pray and it’s where I began my journey on the pathway of Christ.
In 1993 I received a Computer Science degree at Purdue University, and spent the next four years working as a computer consultant in Indianapolis. It was good work and paid well, but there was something that kept tugging at my heart, telling me that there was something God was calling me to do in my life. I had been following what my brother (Father Bill Wack, C.S.C.) was doing during his time in the seminary, and shortly after his Ordination I had a chance to visit him in his first parish assignment. I’ll be honest, I assumed he would be miserable there, because he had to live with the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and he was engaged in parish ministry, which is a lot of work! But I couldn’t have been more wrong -- Bill’s joy for ministry and love of the Sacraments was so bright that it helped illuminate my own possible vocation. So after a great deal of prayer and discernment over a four year period, I entered Moreau Seminary at the University of Notre Dame in 1997 for formation as a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross.
My time in the seminary was filled with many blessings, but none greater than having the time to learn more about my relationship with God, discovering new ways to pray, and listening to God so I could discern His call. On April 17, 2004, I was ordained a priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, and the following weekend I celebrated my first Mass at my home parish of Christ the King. It was a moment that I will never forget, surrounded by family members, friends, parishioners, and many of my brother priests in Holy Cross, some of whom were my former pastors!
Now I have this great opportunity to be in the vocations office, where along with Father Jarrod Waugh, C.S.C., Father Matt Kuczora, C.S.C. and our excellent staff, I will do everything I can to help men in their discernment and prayer to be able to hear God’s call. Oremus pro invicem! Let us pray for one another as we seek to make God known, loved and served, and thus save souls (Blessed Basil Moreau). May God bless you all this month!
May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled,
to be homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek your truth and live in your love.
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Pray for Us!
Excerpted from the World Meeting of Families Prayer
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