Following Christ has been something that Fr. Jeff has tried to do from his earliest days as he began to discern his call to the priesthood. Growing up in Denton at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, he was active as an altar Server, in the youth group, and was often with his parents at various church activities. Growing up, Fr. Jeff remembers so many incredible priests who were a part of our parish and a part of the life of my family that he didn’t think it too strange when he would hear Fr. Joe Schumacher talk about how great it was to be a priest. When Fr. Gonzalo Morales asked Fr. Jeff in 6th grade if he had ever thought about becoming a priest, he said, “yes”. In fact, he had been thinking about it since 5th grade. He thought about priesthood off and on through junior high and high school, often trying to push it out of my mind. But the more he tried to push it away, the more it kept coming back as something he needed to look into. Fr. Jeff entered the seminary when he graduated from high school and was sent the The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio for college seminary. After four years of college seminary, he returned to Texas where he attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas for four years. In the middle of that time, Fr. Jeff returned to the Diocese of Fort Worth to spend what is known as the “Pastoral Year” at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church here in Fort Worth. Fr. Jeff was ordained on May 26, 2001. After spending time as an associate at St. Michael’s in Bedford, Immaculate Conception in Denton and as a pastor in Mineral Wells and Graford, he arrived at Holy Family Catholic Church in August 2010.
Fr. Jeff frequently visits the Holy Family students and sometimes ends the day in prayer. He presides at the school liturgy each week, and is often seen at the school teaching special classes, praying with the students, and greeting students. In October, during the month of the rosary, Fr. Jeff joins the school for an outdoor rosary on the “Hornets' Nest”. Fr. Jeff leads the 6th and 7th grade classes on a retreat which is focused on team building, and the 8th grader class on a retreat that is focused on the different types of prayer. He freely shares with the students his experiences in the seminary, especially, with the respect to communicating with the Lord – talking and listening.
Thank you, Fr. Jeff, for being such an inspiration to all of us at Holy Family Catholic School.