As a child, Father Patric D’Arcy looked up to his father as a role model. So when he saw that his father viewed priests as “honorable, noble and good,” he realized the priesthood was “something special.”
“My parents, especially my dad, always showed great respect for the Church and for priests,” Father D’Arcy said. His father, Frank, and his mother, Maureen, attended Sunday Mass faithfully with their four children. He credits the faith of his parents, and their support, as the greatest influences early in his vocation.
“Both of my parents spent their energy building their family and their children,” he said of his home life in Galt, Ontario, Canada.
Father D’Arcy credits his grandparents, notably his grandmothers as another early influence on his faith life. They shared with him their love of the Holy Father, the Church, Our Lady, the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass.
His grandmothers also taught him an important lesson he has carried with him throughout his life. “When faced with confusion, the pope is always someone to look to,” he said.
In recalling his childhood, Father D’Arcy told how serving as an altar boy affected his vocation journey. His father was an altar server as a boy, and when Father D’Arcy learned that, he likewise wanted to serve. The experience made an impact right away.
“When I started to serve Mass during the week, that’s when I started praying and fell in love with the Mass,” he said.
Before coming to New York to study at St. Joseph’s Seminary, he earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Wilfrid Laurier University. He taught for six years at elementary and high schools in Ontario, and spent one year teaching English in Guatemala. With the priesthood always in his mind, he viewed his time teaching and traveling as part of his formation, knowing they might be experiences he would not have again.
During his time at St. Joseph’s, he said, “Ever since the day I entered the seminary, I felt comfortable and every day I felt happier and happier.” In addition to his studies, he noted in a particular way the priestly examples of Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, rector, and Father Joseph Henchey, C.S.S., professor of moral theology.
As to why he desires to serve as a priest, he said, “I felt confirmed that God’s love for me and others is infinite and I truly believe we are all here for a purpose and God has given me a vocation to the priesthood. And that demands a response.”
“My only response to him who gave me everything is to give him everything I have,” Father D’Arcy said. “My encounter with the light of the risen Lord has colored my life and I want others to know the joy of knowing, loving and serving God.”
As a priest, he hopes to be a spiritual father: “That’s how I view the priesthood, living your life for others as a life of sacrifice, just as any good father would in his own family.”
Father D’Arcy will celebrate his first Mass at Blessed Sacrament Church in Manhattan on Sunday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m. Msgr. Javier Garcia de Cardenas, vice secretary for the personal prelature of Opus Dei, will be the homilist.