Bishop Kulick Ordains Christopher J. Pujol to the Priesthood
By Cliff Gorski
The Catholic Accent
Photos by Mary Seamans
GREENSBURG – JUNE 4, 2022 – It has been more than 50 years since a parishioner from Mount St. Peter Parish in New Kensington has been ordained to the priesthood. That changed today when Bishop Larry J. Kulick, JCL, ordained Father Christopher J. Pujol as the newest priest for the Diocese of Greensburg. The ordination Mass was held at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral before clergy, family and friends.
In his homily and instruction, Bishop Kulick said the Solemnity of Pentecost, which is celebrated this weekend, did not mean an end of the works of the Lord, His Apostles and disciples. For Deacon Pujol, the work is just beginning. “As a priest, you are intercessor and advocate for the people to God. You carry and present their needs to God. You plead on their behalf through your prayer, your personal sacrifice and your example of living. Advocate, Interceded and witness on behalf of the People of God for their natural and spiritual rights. Both at the altar of Sacrifice in the Holy Mass and in the sanctuaries of their lives,” Bishop Kulick said. “Truly be an “Alter Christos” to God’s people in helping them and assisting them in the carrying of their daily crosses, celebrating their joys and in assisting them to grow in love for our Lord, his people and His Church.”
Bishop Kulick congratulated Deacon Pujol on behalf of Bishop Emeritus, Lawrence E. Brandt, Bishop Timothy Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Archabbot Martin Bartel, Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey and Chancellor of Saint Vincent College and Seminary, Father Edward Mazich, Rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, the priests, deacons, consecrated men and women religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg.
For Father Pujol, the Ordination Mass begins a new life and a continuation of a new journey in faith that began in grade school. Mount St. Peter Parish was the parish in which Father Pujol was baptized and received all of his sacraments. It will also be the parish where he will celebrate his first Mass, a Mass of Thanksgiving at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 5.
“The people of the parish have known me since I was a baby, and my journey is also their journey,” Father Pujol said. “When I was home from seminary, they would hear my stories, and they are very proud that one of their own is a priest.”
Father Pujol recalls the influence of his pastors at Mount St. Peter Parish and the pastoral and community examples they demonstrated. During his Ordination Mass, he was vested by Monsignor Michael J. Begolly, pastor of Mother of Sorrows Parish in Murrysville. Monsignor Begolly served as Father Pujol’s pastor at Mount St. Peter Parish and was a large influence on him as he discerned his calling to the priesthood.
“He is really an example of how to serve as a priest and how to have the heart of a priest and how to care for people. He was always present as a father caring for his family, and that impacted me very much,” Father Pujol said.
He says the teachers at the former Mount St. Peter Catholic School, now Mary Queen of Apostles School, also played a role in his formation. “We had wonderful teachers who were very faithful and were devoted to their faith, both in and out of the classroom,” Father Pujol remembered.
His family has also been part of his journey. They have been supportive and with him every step of the way and share in his excitement. His mother and father, Laurie and Rick, and his siblings, Rebecca and Andy, share in his excitement along with his nieces, Harper and Lydia.
“I come from an Italian and Cuban family, and we are used to big gatherings with music. They see my ordination as their family growing because as a priest, your parish is part of your family, too,” Father Pujol said.
As Father Pujol’s journey continues, he now awaits his first assignment. “The people of God are the people of God everywhere. I will trust the Holy Spirit and the Bishop and whatever he decides will be great,” he said.