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Ordination to the priesthood: Charles Archer

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski ordained Charles Archer on May 29 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
Photo Credits: Lisa Johnston
Charles Archer

Age: 27

Family: Parents: Chris and Theresa Archer; siblings, Patrick, Joe and Claire

Home parish: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Oakville

Education: Our Lady of Sorrows (K-2nd); St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (3rd-8th); Saint Louis University High School; University of Dallas; Kenrick School of Theology

The call: Father Archer first considered the priesthood in third grade when then-Archbishop Raymond Burke visited his parish. He began praying regularly, a practice that helped his discernment. At a retreat his senior year of high school, he knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and remembered, “At one point, I had thought of being a priest. Lord, if you really want this, you better make this clear.” A story came to mind from his Confirmation saint, St. Philip Neri. When he was uncertain of his vocation as he was traveling to Rome, he felt an answer in the quiet of his heart: “You will know, but not yet.”

While studying philosophy at the University of Dallas, he returned to the question of priesthood. The summer before his junior year, he reconnected with a priest, who advised Father Archer to “pray for the strength to say ‘yes’ to whatever your vocation is.” Within six months, he felt an invitation from God, finishing his studies at the university before entering the seminary.

In his priesthood, Father Archer is looking forward to hearing confessions. Other priests have told him, “It’s such a beautiful moment when you can make God’s mercy present in someone’s life,” he said. “You can see them waking up again to a supernatural reality, restoring hope to the brokenness of their lives.”

Father Archer said he has found new signs of hope as he is ordained in the midst of a pandemic. “I think the proclamation of the Gospel becomes more powerful,” he said. “It’s like a firework; if a firework is going off in the daytime, it’s impressive and loud, but it doesn’t catch your attention the same way. But as society gets darker, I think the Gospel shines that much more brilliantly. I am excited to be ordained at this time.”

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