Andrew Octavio Gutierrez
First priestly assignment: St. Catherine of Siena, Metairie
Mass of Thanksgiving:
June 2 at 5 p.m. at St. Clement of Rome, where his father, Deacon Martin Gutierrez, will assist at the altar as the only deacon.
Parents journeyed with him on path to priesthood
My mom wanted to be influential in finding and buying the chalice, so my mom and dad and I went to find a chalice at this place in New York – a chalice showcase. It was really special for my mom to come with me, but also for my dad because he will be the only deacon at my first Mass of Thanksgiving.
For him to be with me when I found the chalice that he would then hold up with me during the doxology is pretty special. For us, it was a getaway trip right after my (transitional) diaconate ordination (last year) and one where we were thinking, “This is actually going to happen.”
My parents, at first, were reluctant supporters of the idea of my becoming a priest. I think they were worried I might be lonely or bored or not happy because I was a gregarious child at St. Clement of Rome and at Archbishop Rummel High School and the two years that I was studying psychology at Louisiana State University. It took them stepping up in faith as I was increasing my faith.
When I was growing up, I witnessed my father living out his faith as written in Matthew 25 “to love the least among us” and helping others through the Hispanic Apostolate and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. Then he began studying to become a permanent deacon, which coincided with my seminary studies, first at St. Joseph Seminary College and then at Notre Dame Seminary.
In my parents’ conversion of heart, they came to love it for me and see the priesthood in a new light.
My chalice is gold and engraved with my name. I had asked for some type of crucifixion image, and at the base of this crucifix, the crucifixion scene is depicted, with Mary and John at the foot of the cross. What I loved about this was seeing the intimacy the Blessed Mother has for her priests and the protection that she particularly gives them as they imitate, and are, her son in the world.
That also reminds me of my own mom – who is the top woman in my life and such a support. My mom intercedes; she sacrifices; and she fasts for me. Having the Blessed Mother on my chalice is also a reminder of my mom.
As a priest, I am most looking forward to offering the sacrament of confession, through which Catholics can experience the type of freedom and the completely unjudgmental, merciful love that comes from being united with Jesus.
– Christine Bordelon