Ardent Longing Fulfilled in the Liturgy
As a priest I do not consider myself to have been particularly coddled. I left Ireland when I was 18 and went to New Jersey to receive my priestly formation. But there, as a seminarian, I did a lot of pastoral work in the South Bronx. I lived for a year in Southeast Washington D.C. when it was the murder capital of the United States and I frequented lots of difficult places, working mainly in the Spanish-speaking communities within the Catholic Church in the United States. Two years after ordination, I was asked to return to the seminary to work in formation. But I continued to travel to the South Bronx twice a week to help in a parish there and often ministered in less-than-ideal circumstances.