Andrew Charles Rudmann
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
First priestly assignment: St. Clement of Rome, Metairie
Masses of Thanksgiving:
June 2, 11 a.m. at St. Peter, Covington; and two Masses in Cleveland the following weekend
Family’s Slovenian roots reflected in chalice
I was given my chalice over the Christmas holidays by Father Joseph Boznar, pastor of St. Vitus, a Slovenian parish in Cleveland, which was my childhood parish. Slovenian culture has influenced my life, so it is significant that Father Boznar presented it to me.
My mother was the first generation born in this country. My grandparents were refugees. I didn’t realize how important my Slovenian culture was to me until my ordination came on the horizon. This is the faith to me, my connection to the incarnation and my understanding of what culture can bring to faith.
I hadn’t really thought of the kind of chalice I wanted, but I did tell Father Boznar that what I really wanted was a connection to my Slovenian heritage. I thought it would be cool. I told him, “I know that there is some safe in some parish in Slovenia that just has this chalice waiting for me.” He told me, “It’s funny you’re saying this,” and when I visited the parish for Christmas, Father Boznar handed me a chalice he had locked in a safe.
Father Boznar had uncovered the chalice two years earlier after treasure hunting and finding a box in a drawer in the sacristy of a closed parish, St. Lawrence. He told me, “This is a chalice made in Slovenia. If you like it, it’s yours.” So, I had this Slovenian chalice just waiting for me!
There are several special features of the chalice. It’s 110 years old; it’s engraved with the name “Ljubljana” (the capital of Slovenia) and the name of the chalice maker; and there are images of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Lawrence and St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Every time I lift that chalice, I am reminded of the incarnation. I am reminded that our faith is not something simply that we do on Sunday or a nice extracurricular activity. It’s who we are as human beings. It is who we are as the people of God – the people that God created for himself.
My journey to the priesthood has been discovering who I am and how God is calling me to love people.
I look forward to being able to fully love people as my heart desires. To not only walk with them, be with them, minister to them and teach them, but also to offer them the sacraments, to absolve their sins, to offer Mass for them and to really be Christ to them. I see that as the fullness of who I am, who God has called me to be.
Not only will I have a Mass of Thanksgiving here, I will celebrate Masses in Cleveland at my elementary school parish, St. Joan of Arc in Chagrin Falls and a traditional Slovenian Mass at St. Vitus Parish, with where my family will have a role, dressed in Slovenian apparel.
– Christine Bordelon