My vocation story can be summed up in the title of a Grateful Dead song; “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!”
Raised Catholic, I early on considered a vocation to the priesthood. Sadly, many years of life would pass before I heard the voice of Christ once again calling me. This time, however I answered quickly and happily. After several false starts and missteps on my part, I entered Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
It was there that I met Fr. Joe Corel, who had recently been appointed Vocation Director for the Diocese of Jefferson City, who was introduced by now Fr. Matthew Flatley. The rest, as they say, is history.
I was ordained on June 29, 2014, and assigned to Immaculate Conception Parish in Jefferson City. Currently, I serve as pastor of Annunciation in California, MO and St. Andrew in Tipton, MO. I LOVE being a priest! Even in the tough times and when I am tired and the days are long and busy.
I have begun to get involved in prison ministry, Spanish ministry, and celebrating Masses, weddings, funerals, and baptisms here at the parish. I find that my greatest joy is being a part of people’s lives, in the joyful times and the sad.
The Diocese may be my adopted home, but I hope to serve here for years to come. To all young men (or older) who are thinking about the priesthood, I echo the words of Jesus, “Come and See!
Father Tony Rinaldo