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Called to serve

Fr. Gilbreath ordained to priesthood; three ordained to diaconate

By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — Fr. Patrick Gilbreath said he wasn’t hit with “a big lightning bolt” that led him to the priesthood, but he had a willingness to listen to the Lord.
Thanks to Fr. Gilbreath’s willingness to listen, the Archdiocese of Mobile celebrated his ordination to the priesthood as well as the ordinations of Deacons Gabriel Mills, Connor Plessala and Peyton Plessala to the transitional diaconate on June 1 at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The new transitional deacons will hold summer assignments before returning to St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology with hopes of being ordained priests next year.
Fr. Gilbreath will soon head to his first parish, where he’ll serve as parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery.
“I think it’s cool that it’s Holy Spirit parish so I can hopefully have the Holy Spirit working through me,” Fr. Gilbreath said.
Archdiocese of Mobile Vocations Director Fr. Victor Ingalls said Fr. Gilbreath will be a priest who can relate to everyone in the parish.
“He is very energetic and is a people person who is eager to immerse himself in the life of a parish,” Fr. Ingalls said. “He has a very joyful spirit about him which is very contagious and he’s one of those people who gets along with everybody and endears himself to everybody.”
For Fr. Gilbreath, the road to the priesthood seemed to begin after his first year as a student at Auburn University.
Fr. Gilbreath returned home to Daphne and Christ the King Parish when he considered attending seminary.
“It is a long road (to priesthood),” Fr. Gilbreath said. “I thought about becoming an engineer and that’s when the Lord spoke to me. (That summer) I also talked to Fr. Travis (Burnett), who was at Christ the King Parish. I really related to him and he helped me see the life of a priest as attractive.”
During his homily at Ordination, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi thanked the newly-ordained for the leap of faith each took by trusting in God.
“Thank you for your openness to the call of God,” Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi said in his homily. “It was a leap of faith for each of you, but trusting in God, you said yes to God’s call. And here at this Mass, the Church confirms your decision by calling you to be ordained.”
Archbishop Rodi also discussed how many in today’s society do not understand someone’s decision to become a priest, but the four ordained made the decision because of their openness to listening to God.
“Your decision to stand here will not make sense to many. But in your years of formation, you have come to realize your heart was made for this moment,” Archbishop Rodi said.

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