Maybe it was because he was a Montreal Canadiens fan. But when Father Chad Grennan offered himself as a lector at his parish in Toronto, home of the Maple Leafs, he was turned down.
“I got turned down a couple of times,” he recalled. “They actually hadn’t heard me read, but they said we have a lot of people right now. We’ll call you if we need someone. They never called. Then I filled out a card to register (for the parish) and I thought okay, I’ll check this stuff off. I put choir, lector and a few other things, and I never got a call or anything.”
Father Grennan, 38, will soon get his chance to speak in front of a congregation. He’s only a few weeks away from being ordained to the priesthood. Raised in a loving Catholic family in the Canadian Maritimes, he attended Catholic schools and recalled Sunday Mass as an important and cherished part of his childhood.
Father Grennan, the son of Frank and Geraldine Grennan of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, hadn’t given the priesthood more than a passing thought growing up. In fact, he’d already embarked on a fine career in finance working for Citi Group in Toronto in his 20s. Part of him, however, retained a fascination with the idea of the priesthood.
“I may be in the minority when it comes to a vocation story,” he acknowledged. “But there was no person, no event that inspired it.” There was just a slow, steady urging by the Holy Spirit. “It was a gradual process. Thoughts of the priesthood had come to me off and on throughout the years, but they were very mild and I brushed them off,” he explained. “But then when I hit my 30s, that’s when things started to become a little bit clearer. It began to seem like a really attractive thing to go after. I looked into it and here I am in 2012!”
Father Grennan’s first Mass will be on Sunday, May 27, at Sacré Coeur Church, Welland, Ontario, Canada. The homilist will be Father Paul McDonald, pastor of Sacré Coeur.
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