SHAWNEE — The Rev. Simeon Spitz was ordained to the Catholic priesthood during an ordination ceremony during Mass at St. Gregory’s Abbey.
The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, ordained Spitz during the May 31 ceremony.
The Rev. Lawrence Stasyszen, abbot of St. Gregory’s Abbey, said Simeon “will bring added energy and creativity to the life and works of our community at St. Gregory’s.”
Spitz spent much of his early life in western Oklahoma, near the town of Canute. He attended St. Gregory’s University and completed bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy.
Upon graduation, he first considered becoming a diocesan priest and was accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. However, after two years of study at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, he discerned that his true vocation was to be at St. Gregory’s Abbey. He made his first profession of vows as a monk of St. Gregory’s Abbey in 2010.
As a priest of St. Gregory’s Abbey, Spitz will continue in his vowed life as a monk, and his future ministry will be in that context.
Stasyszen said the new priest will be assigned to full-time service at St. Gregory’s University, the primary apostolic work of the abbey. Stasyszen said Spitz also will be assigned on many weekends to provide pastoral support across Oklahoma in Catholic parishes where the resident pastor is absent.
Spitz said he believes his identification with the monastic community will help him.
“Even though as a priest I am now a ‘father,’ I am still first a ‘brother.’ That has not changed for me in community. That is what will help keep me grounded in the community and in the greater Church,” he said.
“I can’t save the world. But Jesus Christ can save the world. I want to have a share in His plan — whatever that calls me to do.”