Father Geoffrey Mooney ’05, C.S.C., is overjoyed after having celebrated his ordination to become a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is the fulfilment of seven years of religious formation and the beginning of his priestly ministry.
“It’s still surreal that ordination has come and gone, and now I’m a full-fledged priest and I’m doing priestly things and sacramental ministries,” Fr. Geoffrey said. “But it is a tremendous joy at the same time.”
Fr. Geoffrey is looking forward to sharing that joy with his home parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New Albany, where he will celebrate all three Masses the weekend of May 8-9. He said he is eager to see parishioners he has known since childhood as well as some former classmates and to thank them for their prayers and support during his formation.
“It’s the opportunity to celebrate with people who have known me almost my entire life,” he said.
Fr. Geoffrey has already said his first Mass at the parish where he is associate pastor, Christ the King Parish in South Bend, on April 11. He also has celebrated student Masses, both in the parish school and on campus at the University of Notre Dame, and heard confessions in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He looks forward to opportunities for sacramental preparation, especially working with parents seeking baptism for their children and with couples preparing for marriage. He will officiate his first wedding in June and soon step into funeral ministry at the parish.
Fr. Geoffrey said he has come to love parish ministry and looks forward to more years serving his parish. Having served as deacon since the fall, he has been the chaplain for the school’s kindergarten through third grade, and he looks forward to continuing to work with the school children. He is one of three priests at the parish, but one will soon leave for another assignment. In the fall, Fr. Geoffrey will become part of a team of chaplains that serves St. Joseph High School in South Bend, at the invitation of the local bishop.
As a Holy Cross priest, in the future he could serve at different parishes in the United States, at the Notre Dame or one of the congregation’s other colleges, or as a missionary overseas. For now, he anticipates remaining an association pastor for two years. After that time, he will likely receive a new assignment.
Fr. Geoffrey said he will be open to new ministries but would enjoy returning to teach high school or to serve in residence life or campus ministry at Notre Dame, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and theology, his master’s degree in education, and his master’s in divinity. He previously taught math for five years in Pensacola, Fla., including two years of post-graduate service with the Alliance for Catholic Education Program while earning his education degree. He served as an assistant rector at Notre Dame in his last assignment before being diaconate ordination, and during formation he had summer placements both domestically and abroad, including French Canada and East Africa.
It was during his time as a teacher that Fr. Geoffrey began seriously discerning his call to the priesthood. As a college senior, he considered joining the Benedictines at St. Meinrad after having worked there one summer as an undergraduate intern. He said he was attracted to the community and its prayer life but ultimately discerned to return to Notre Dame and the Congregation of Holy Cross.
As he looks forward to his future as a priest, Fr. Geoffrey anticipates continuing to find joy in the celebration of the Eucharist.
“There’s such an opportunity there to share the good news of God’s love and mercy, to share what it means to be a person of faith and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus,” Fr. Geoffrey said. “I love preaching. When we’re gathered together at Mass, to be able to preach the Word and also celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it’s such an occasion of incomparable joy.”
Fr. Geoffrey Mooney ’05 is the second alumnus in recent years to be ordained a priest. Fr. Kyle Rodden ’07 is a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and is pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Corydon and the chapels of St. Peter and Most Precious Blood. Ben Popson ’16 is in religious formation and doing his post-graduate studies at St. Meinrad Seminary.