Nov. 10 is the first anniversary of the death of my brother, Father Tom Polk. While I miss him every day I rejoice in the great blessing he was to me. At his viewing my family learned about the many ways Tom ministered to his people and what a blessing he was to them. We met many wonderful people with great stories. Tom loved being a priest and no matter how difficult circumstances were, he was always happy, positive and full of faith.
He ministered 24/7 to his parishioners, from his ordination in 1967 until he was hospitalized in 2007. Even then, Tom ministered to the other patients who lived with him at the hospital. I thank God for him every day.
Tom was not alone. There are over 500 priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore serving parishioners in more than 150 parishes and missions. These men, some of whom minister at more than one parish, give of themselves every day to their parishioners. Many of these men are the only priest in a parish, so they live alone, cook their own meals and do their own laundry.
Please pray for these priests. I am sure they love what they do but it is not an easy vocation. Also pray for more vocations to the priesthood. I often wonder what I would do if I went to Mass and there was no one there to celebrate the liturgy. When you attend Mass this Sunday remember to say, “Thank you” to your priest.