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Meet our priests: Father Wayne L. Belschner

Posted: 2/20/2009

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Father Wayne L. Belschner Pilot file photo

Parish/assignment: Sacred Heart Parish, East Boston

Place of birth : Revere

How many brothers and sisters do you have? I have 9 brothers and 1 sister.

High School: Revere High School

College: Undergraduate -- St. John’s Seminary College

Graduate 1 -- Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome 1991-1993)

Seminary (Theology) -- North American College (Rome 91-93) St. John’s (93-95)

Date of ordination: May 20, 1995

What assignments have you had since ordination?

St. Charles Borromeo, Woburn 1995-2003; Sacred Heart, East Boston 2003-present.

What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest?

My greatest joys as a priest all stem from the celebration of the Mass. Whether it be marriages, baptisms, even funerals, to be gathered together as a family at the altar of God to share in his great gift of his son is pure joy.

Who influenced your vocation the most to consider the priesthood?

It would be the pastor at my home parish of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Revere. Father Maurice J. Mahoney was the single greatest influence on my vocation.

What events or practices in your life helped you to discover and discern your call to the priesthood?

While I was in high school, I worked at my home parish. I had the unique opportunity to see the priesthood from inside out. Father Mahoney showed me, without even realizing it, the identity of a priest.

What is one of your favorite scripture passages and why?

One of my favorite Scripture Passages is from Psalm 16: “Preserve me, God, I take refuge in You. I say to the Lord, You are my God. My happiness lies in You alone.” This is one of my favorites because it helps me to remember that God, and God alone, is the cause of my joy.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to cook, read, and spend time with my family.

What advice would you give to a young man who is considering the priesthood?

To pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and to find a good spiritual director.

What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/ magazines?

Some of my favorite books are, “Friends of God” by St. Josemaria Escriva, “The Sanctification of Work,” by Jose Luis Illanes and “Italian Folktales,” by Italo Calvino.

Through the cardinal, God is calling each of us personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

The priest must respond to this mandate today by faithfully and reverently celebrating the sacraments, by remaining faithful to the Church and her teachings, and by working together to rebuild the trust of the people and restoring the dignity of the priesthood.

When Cardinal Seán came to Boston, he wrote a pastoral letter entitled “Vocations: Everybody’s Business.” What are some ways that we can help all individuals and families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations?

We can help by inviting families within the parish to pray for vocations. We can help by speaking about our own vocational discernment. We can help by being examples that will inspire others to want to explore the priesthood, religious life, and diaconate.

‘Meet our Priests’ is produced by the Office for Vocations of the Archdiocese of Boston.