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FATHER
JULIAN CASSAR

I was born in Malta from two devout parents, the third child between two older sisters and two younger brothers. I attended school in my native Malta, later on in the major Seminary and the University of Malta and was ordained there on June 19, 1977. I served for four years in my own home-town of    St. Julian’s, until I decided to come to   the USA in 1981.

Since I grew up in a predominantly Catholic country, I was always exposed to Churches, priests, prayer, etc. and so ever since I was a young boy I wanted to be a priest, serving the people, as I saw the other priests doing. Being an altar-boy since the age of four also helped in this, even being chosen to serve at the Vatican in 1966.

After serving in various parishes in New York for 22 years, in March 2003, I left the biggest city in the world and ventured out west, ending up in one of the smallest parishes in John Day, Oregon, with a very small community who   were all yearning for involvement, leadership, and pastoral care. I enjoyed my time there, especially driving to my mission churches on weekends, even though there would  be anywhere between 3 to 15 people in attendance. But I realized that if I did not go to them they would never have   a Mass, they would never see a priest. Their churches were small chapels, at times a little trailer, but it was a community and they deserved attention.

In June of 2005, the Bishop asked me to take over       the Cathedral parish in Baker City, and right away we embarked on an ambitious project to renovate the sanctuary of the Cathedral, especially since, in 2008, the Cathedral would celebrate its centennial. It is a joy to share my priesthood with other priests who come from all parts of the world, India, Sri Lanka, Poland, Nigeria, Argentina, Mexico, Tanzania, and some from the USA.

I felt God was calling me to dedicate my life to His people, which for me meant leaving everything, including family, and coming to the USA four years after my ordination, realizing that “the world is my parish.” God never asks us about our abilities or inabilities, but always about our availability - this has been my motto for the past 36 years. My priorities as a priest consist of serving people, being available for them, praying, celebrating the liturgies, planning special celebrations, and communicating with people, through letters, phone-calls, e-mails, and through our parish web-site. I firmly believe in what Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, that “the priest should preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” I add further… “and with an IPad, the Internet at arm’s reach and access to e-mail.”
 

Father Cassar is now retired and living in Malta
 

 



 

Prayer for priests

 

Lord Jesus Christ, bless and strengthen those you have chosen to share your priesthood. We intercede for them all – from the Pope, to whom you entrusted the office of Peter, the rock, to the most obscure of your priests wherever he labors. We pray especially for priests who have touched our lives most closely; the priests who presently serve in our parish and former parishes where we lived. Those who have ministered your grace to us in the sacraments; the priests who have taught us and counseled us, the priests who have married us and buried our loved ones. Give them above all, holiness of life, courage and zeal in the times of trial, wisdom and compassion in dealing with others. For our part, good Lord, grant that we respect the consecration of their lives, recognize their humanness and sustain them by their cooperation in the work of your Church. O Divine Master, open to our youth your vision of the fields ready for harvest. Bless our families and parish with many priestly vocations and keep all your have called close to Your sacred heart.            AMEN.


 


 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker 
641 SW Umatilla Ave  .  Redmond, OR  97756  .  (541) 388-4004


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