Name: Fr. David Wilkening
Years ordained: 30
Current assignment: Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Solon
How did you know you were being called to priesthood? Through prayer and affirmation within the church. The church is the one that always says “yes” or “no,” eventually. When you get ordained, you know you are chosen.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass? Probably last May (2008) when I concelebrated the funeral Mass of my dad. I was able to give the homily. I wasn’t up to being the main celebrant because I had just had surgery. I was a little woozy, but was able to get through things.
What is most rewarding about being a priest? Celebrating with people the different events in their lives – the happy and sad times — just being with people.
What is most challenging about being a priest? It’s probably preparing an interesting and meaningful homily every weekend. Sometimes they’re not interesting and sometimes they’re not meaningful, but you’ve got to try. Scripture and life experiences provide some inspiration. And you hope the dear Lord will help you because it’s kind of hard to do it yourself.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? The Bread of Life narrative in chapter six of the Gospel of John has always been very powerful for me. Hebrews 13:8 is another favorite one: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
What is your hobby? I’m kind of a history buff. I like genealogy; I’ve been interviewing family members because I think it’s important to get the narratives so they won’t be lost after people die. I also like to look around for antiques and old junk.