“A holy priest is a savior and another Christ, taking the Master’s place on earth, representing Him, clothed with His authority, acting in his name, adorned with His qualifications, exercising His judgment on earth in the tribunal of penance. He is consecrated to exercise the highest functions Christ ever performed on earth, to continue the work of salvation. In imitation of His Redeemer he gives himself, mind, heart, affections, strength, time all for God. He is ever ready to sacrifice his very blood and even life itself to procure the salvation of souls, particularly those of his own flock.” -St. John Eudes
Fr. Travis Stephens, pictured above in his office, is the associate pastor at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Fishers and he hails from Yorktown, Indiana. Today is his birthday, so I wanted to take a moment to just thank him for everything he does each day for the people I love at SLDM.
To be a priest, as St. John Eudes says very concisely in the above quote, is a truly selfless and incredible way to live one’s life. Fr. Travis, as he lives his life in service to others, is remarkably bright, so smart in fact that I think he could have made a life as a college professor had the seminary not worked out! He’s also a cat lover, and a well-traveled man who loves to smile and laugh. He’s kind and patient with the students at the parish school, who all respect him for the same.
The priesthood can be a lonely place, as folks sometimes expect these men we call “Father” to be superhuman. They are mere mortals, however. Fr. Travis has been mourning the tragic and unexpected loss of his Dad. All the while, his incredible daily responsibilities remain. I so admire him for his positivity and his perseverance through the past several months. His faithfulness and his holy and prayerful witness during his personal storm are more powerful than he can imagine.
Today, as you celebrate your birthday, Fr. Travis, it’s my hope that you will know how deeply you are cared about by those around you. Your life is one we should all be celebrating alongside you today! I will be offering my rosary today for you and for your intentions. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!