Father O’Meara sees little change in the priesthood

As a young boy growing up in 1950s Govans, Joseph M. O’Meara saw his neighborhood parish where he once served as an altar boy – St. Mary of the Assumption – as the center of his universe and longed to be a priest.
That ambition was realized when he was ordained at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland, in 1967 and as he reflects on his 40 years as a celebrant; Father O’Meara says the priestly feeling was as natural as breathing.
“As soon as I was ordained, I felt like a priest,” said Father O’Meara, 67, who has been pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Brooklyn, since 1995. “I wanted to be a priest as long as I can remember. Ordination was the final step to becoming a priest. But, your devotion never stops growing.”
After his ordination, he served as associate pastor of St. Philip Neri, Linthicum Heights, from 1967 to 1969; associate pastor of St. Edward, Baltimore, from 1969 to 1972 and then served as administrator of the parish until 1979; archdiocesan pastoral coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal from 1979 to 1993; temporary administrator of St. Cecilia, Baltimore, 1993; temporary administrator of St. Edward from 1993 to 1995; and pastor of St. Rose of Lima since1995.
Though there are fewer priests in today’s church compared to his early cleric days, Father O’Meara says not much has changed in the priesthood since his ordination.
“In terms of ministry, it’s largely the same,” he said, “because of the sacramental base of our life. The need is still there to administer to the people in their personal lives. In essence, it hasn’t really changed at all.”

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.