Fr. Dan Dury, Holy Cross parishioner, was ordained a priest on May 29th, 2010 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio. He described his last year of seminary as filled with practicums that helped to prepare him to administer the sacraments. “It really hit home that this is going to happen–I am going to be ordained a priest,” said Fr. Dury.
He really appreciated the Confession practicum in which they learned what to expect and how to handle different situations related to the sacrament. “This year was devoted to the practical elements of the priesthood and administering the sacraments,” said Fr. Dury.
He assisted with baptisms and preaching at St. Anne parish in Hagerstown, Maryland twice a month. “Preparing for homilies gave me a chance to break open the Scripture and figure out how to apply it to our lives. Sometimes it is frustrating as some Scripture is difficult to develop into a homily.”
Fr. Dury uses stories of the saints for homilies since the saints are a great example of how to pray and live out holiness in our daily lives. His rule of thumb Fr. Dury uses is this: explain the point, illustrate with a story, and than apply it to life. “It is always interesting, if I can put some history behind it and focus on the catechetical meaning.”
“People have an intrinsic desire for the truth about God,” said Fr. Dury. “So I want to deliver it boldly, but in a pastoral way.” He is excited about being able to offer Mass, hear Confessions and administer the sacraments. He will miss his seminary brothers who he has studied with for four years at Mount St. Mary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Fr. Dury grew up in the Columbus area and attended the now closed, Our Lady of Fatima Academy in the Whitehall area. “We had a good foundation there. We prayed the Rosary, attended Mass, and it was true to the faith.”
Fr. Dury and his brother played ‘Mass’ when they were young. His priest at that time encouraged him to consider a vocation to the priesthood.
“I had some idea that I was called when I was in high school in Reynoldsburg,” said Fr. Dury. “Then while I was in college at OSU, I attended ‘Gospel on Rye’ at a local Italian restaurant. We had speakers and talked about our faith.” Dan was at Ohio State University for three years and majored in Business Administration.
After Dan’s second year at OSU, a seminarian from the Josephinum was assigned to Holy Cross Church for the summer. “I believe that was the first time a seminarian was ever assigned to Holy Cross,” said Dan. “I got to know him and he encouraged me to consider the priesthood. Getting to know him helped me realize that seminarians are normal people. I decided to enter seminary. Sometimes I think Lord sent that seminarian to Holy Cross just to encourage me since there hasn’t been a seminarian there before or since.”
“I am thrilled to enter the priesthood now,” said Fr. Dury who spent the week before ordination at the St. Therese Center on a retreat so that he could prepare spiritually to receive as much grace as possible. “I read, prayed, and practiced celebrating the Mass.” He is grateful for the support of his family and friends during his formation years.
Looking back over this seminary formation, Fr. Dury notes that a key moment was when he left seminary for a semester. “The lesson I learned after I took the break from seminary was that we must trust God as much as Mary did. We must trust God and the Church and discern our calling without keeping our options open.”
During the hiatus, he was back in Columbus praying and asking for assistance while at St. Joseph Cathedral. When he stepped outside and turned on his phone, he had a message from a priest inviting to consider going back into seminary. “This time was a turning point in my discernment,” said Fr. Dury.
He will remember seminary fondly as it helped form him to be man of God. “I have grown a lot and I know how important it is to have spiritual growth. Seminary is a time to purge yourself of bad habits and sins–and to fall more in love with God than your sins. All that comes down to prayer. You pray and you fall in love with God more and more.”
Fr. Dury knows that parish life will not have the structure of seminary. “I plan to keep God first in my day and to pray a Holy Hour in the morning,” said Fr. Dury.
He looks forward to ministering to the laity and working along side them to run the parish. “We are all called to pray every day and to live a life of holiness no matter what our state in life. We are all one body through baptism — with Christ as the head and we are all connected.”
As much as a holy priest can make an impact on his parishioners, holy lay people inspire the priest as well, according to Dan. “We all need to support each other in prayer during these trying times. My experience with the laity is that they are very kind and very generous.”
Fr. Dury is happy to be back in Columbus, Ohio. “I feel better every time I cross the state line and I am glad to be serving here as a diocesan priest.”