CHARLESTON—The Diocese of Charleston celebrated the Christmas season by welcoming another priest into the fold.
Father Filip Peter Wodecki was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 28 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone noted the significance of the date and said there is much in life that is difficult, but we must trust that the Lord will always walk with us.
“Do not be afraid,” he told Father Wodecki, “trust in the Lord and be confident in His presence.”
The new priest was joined by his family — his father Czeslaw, his mother Irena, and his youngest brother Lach — all of whom flew from Poland to celebrate Christmas and the Holy Orders together.
Father Filip joins his younger brother, Father Jeremi Wodecki, as a diocesan priest. Father Jeremi was ordained in 2007 and serves as parochial vicar at the Cathedral.
“I think they’re really happy to have another son in the priesthood,” said Lech Wodecki of his parents. “They’ve always been really supportive of what we want to do.” He added that the whole family recognized that both Jeremi and Filip had a calling at an early age.
“We’ve always been very religious, very spiritual, very engaged in the Catholic Church,” Lech said. He also wants to help keep the church alive and growing, he said, but probably not as a priest.
Father Jeremi said he and his brothers have served together in the church since they were little boys.
“It’s very joyful to have a family member in the same diocese,” he said.
Father Filip, 30, was ordained to the diaconate last December at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Simpsonville, which is where he spent his pastoral year. He completed seminary at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich.
He said having his family there was a highlight and that the entire ordination was full of joy.
In his closing remarks, Bishop Guglielmone thanked everyone for helping in the formation of Father Filip.
“We thank God for calling this man to the priesthood, and we thank Father Filip for saying yes,” the bishop said.
He noted that the next ordination is set for June 2012 for Deacon Mark Good.
“All you young people out there, believe me, I’d love to ordain you too,” he told the congregation.
“It’s always great to ordain a priest,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “It’s a privilege, and we need them so desperately.”