SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Kevin Miller, Shawn Simchock, and Jonathan Kuhar were all ordained into the diocese of Scranton on Saturday. They say it was an experience they’ll always remember.
“It’s a special day because it’s six years of preparation. So six years of schooling and hard work to get to that point in time,” said Simchock, assistant pastor at Saint Faustina Parrish.
The three men are delayed vocations. Typically men begin studying in seminary at a younger age, but Miller, Simchock and Kuhar all are above the age of 35 and had previous careers. Miller, a retired army officer and previous commander of the 109th artillery, Simchock, an insurance sales representative and Kuhar, a lawyer. But Miller says it’s never too late to hear God’s call.
“It’s never too late. Look at me you know. Beginning a second life. Couldn’t be more grateful for it,” said Miller, assistant pastor at Saint Rose of Lima.
“If you feel that call at any age, pick up the phone, call a pastor, call a friend, call a priest. They’ll talk to you,” Simchock added.
Kuhar says he believes having a previous vocation has given him a different perspective on the world.
“I think having had the experience of working for a while, and struggling, worried about paying bills while I had my own law firm. Things like that will give me a practical experience that will help enter more deeply into people’s lives,” Kuhar told us over the phone.
Simchock says being ordained is especially important because of an increase of churches closing in the past decade.
“Without active priests, that’s what’s going to happen again is more churches will close. The more priests we have, hopefully we can keep the churches open,” said Simchock.
Both Miller and Kuhar have celebrated their Mass of Thanksgiving over the weekend. Simchock says he looks forward to celebrating his when more people can gather together.