Happy 12th Ordination Anniversary, Fr. Jeff

It is a date that Sidney and I now celebrate just like family birthdays and our wedding anniversary. When May 26 rolls around we immediately recognize it for one reason: The ordination anniversary of our pastor, Fr. Jeff Lewis.

Today, Friday, May 26, 2023, Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrates his 12th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Earlier this week we got a head start on the celebrating as we recognized his anniversary at our Engaged Encounter meeting.

Today marks the 12th anniversary of when Fr. Jeff was ordained to the priesthood. We are proud to say we have known “Papa J” for almost a quarter of those dozen years.

During the nearly three years we have known Fr. Jeff, he has helped get us involved in different ministries. One of those is St. Mary’s marriage prep Pre-Cana program where we get the opportunity to mentor engaged couples. This photo is of Sid, Fr. Jeff. and I with Sarah and Brendan–a couple we mentored who will get married in July.

The first time we walked through the doors of St. Mary Catholic Church, Fr. Jeff greeted us immediately. After some small talk he asked us where we lived in the Spokane Valley. We told him the area where we had recently settled and even though we were on the wrong side of Pines Road and thus outside the parish lines, Fr. Jeff laughed and said, “It’s okay, you’re welcome here anyway…just don’t tell Fr. Kevin” (Fr. Kevin Oiland is the pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, the Catholic community we technically should have attended based on geography).

Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin Oiland started a Young Adult Group for Spokane Valley Catholics. It launched 2.5 years ago and because of the time and energy that Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin devoted to it, our group continues to grow and thrive. This effort by the two priests really helped Sidney and I find friends and grow in our faith upon moving to Washington.

Fr. Jeff was exactly what we needed after our cross country move and Sidney’s recent conversion to Catholicism. We joined his Young Adult Group that he started with Fr. Kevin and from there he kept getting us more and more involved in other ministries—both at the parish and diocesan levels. Just a text message away, Fr. Jeff has always been there for us. Whether we have needed him for the sacraments, a house blessing, prayer support, his presence at retreats/events, a Hoopfest sponsorship, or a host of other things, he continues to be that constant rock in our daily drive to grow closer to God.

Fr. Jeff Lewis with us at our house blessing.

We admire Fr. Jeff for his faith, self-deprecating sense of humor, and the insane schedule he maintains. Sidney and I are grateful for how much he cares about St. Mary School and its mission to deliver the best Catholic education possible. Speaking of children, it warms our hearts how he always makes time for Sloan and Beau, effortlessly connecting with them no matter the situation. I am inspired by his ambitious goals for evangelization, his commitment to his parishioners, and his love/defense of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Jeff has a genuine love for children…and the relationship is reciprocal! You should see how excited Sloan and Beau get when they see Fr. Jeff.

In my life, I have never had a priest as invested in me as Fr. Jeff. Because of this, I can only say Thanks Be To God. Let us pray that impactful and holy priests like Fr. Jeff Lewis continue to be invigorated by their vocation. Happy anniversary to our very special pastor. Don’t Blink.

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