God has always taken great care of St. Francis Xavier Parish. His care and love for us continues in the form of some much needed relief for our Fr. Benny. As most of you know, for the past two years Fr. Benny has been nearly superhuman as our sole priest and administrator. He has been presiding at all four Masses every weekend, plus funerals, school Masses, weddings, First Communions, as well as other sacraments, and liturgies including Mass every weekday morning. He also visits the hospitals and homes of ill parishioners each week (I’m exhausted just writing this), and spends time in his office signing checks, writing homilies and bulletin articles, and attending meetings. He is on call seven days a week. As you can see, he’s been doing the work of multiple priests all by himself. While Fr. Benny, the “one man band,” handles it all with amazing grace, he and our parish could still use another priest. We have been and “Open” parish the past two years to which any priest, qualified to be a Pastor, could request to be assigned. No one has made that request. That is until… now.
We are happy to announce that God has led Fr. Sebastian Vettickal to St. Francis Xavier. Fr. Sebastian, both knows us and wants us. Since the first time he presided at Mass here in 2002, he’s been back on numerous occasions. He’s presided at Masses, assisted with Confessions, and he has even led a retreat here. Through his charismatic personality, we have thoroughly enjoyed his stories during his homilies.
Fr. Sebastian, a Carmelite priest just like Fr. Benny, was born on December 22, 1962. After graduating from high school, he joined the religious order of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). He was ordained on December 31, 1991. Fr. Sebastian arrived in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2000. He served two years at Sacred Heart Church in Ventura, 11 years at St. Denis Church in Diamond Bar and currently serves as the Administrator at Holy Trinity Church in San Pedro.
Prior to his ministry in the U.S., holding Masters degrees in both Theology and Counseling, Fr. Sebastian worked in the Diocese of Bijnor (India) as the Rector of the Seminary, Formation Coordinator, and Pastor and manager of a high school. He also worked as the editor of the Diocesan Journal, and has authored two books: Jericho to Jerusalem and Cornerstone. His motto: ‘Love God and serve Him in others.’
The best part is that as Fr. Sebastian begins his new assignment at St. Francis Xavier Parish on July 1, as our Administrator, our Fr. Benny will still be our Fr. Benny. He is staying with us! We welcome Fr. Sebastian and ask that you keep him and Fr. Benny in your prayers.