By Tim Harfmann
For Father Michael Falce, the feeling of being newly ordained to the priesthood is setting in.
“Wow, all these years of, ‘I want to be a priest! I want to be a priest!’ Well, now I’m a priest, so I’m ready to get to work,” he said.
And he went straight to work — hearing confessions just hours after being ordained by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio last Saturday, June 1.
“I was very nervous about the first time sitting there, I’ll be very honest,” he recalled.
“But after the first couple of people it became, wow, a wonderful experience. And I sat there saying to myself, ‘I have a very long road ahead of me.’”
On the long journey, the focus of his priesthood is celebrating the Eucharist.
Father Falce celebrated his first Mass on Sunday, June 2 at his home parish of Saint Pancras in Glendale, Queens.
“You could really see the joy of many parishioners who, for so many years every time they saw me when I would come home, the question would be, ‘how many more years? how many more years?’” as they waited for him to be ordained to the priesthood.
Now, that question is finally answered.
On June 4, he visited Saint Mel’s Church in Flushing and celebrated Mass for the Catholic academy’s seventh graders.
Students took time to ask the new priest questions.
“What’s it like being a priest?” asked one.
“These first three days have been wonderful,” he said.
Father Gerard Sauer concelebrated at the Mass. He is St. Mel’s current pastor.
But in a few weeks, Father Sauer will become the pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — where Father Falce has been assigned.
Father Sauer recalled the advice he received from his first pastor after being ordained in 2001.
“‘For every single day you’re a priest, you meet somebody else,’ and he goes, ‘the more you’re a priest, the more people are going to meet you, and want you, and need you.’
Father Sauer bestowed his own advice on his brother priest.
“Enjoy every bit of it, take it slow, and continue to serve the Lord,” he said.
Father Falce plans on doing just that, as soon as reality completely sets in.
“I have to keep saying to myself, ‘I am a priest,’” Father Falce admitted.