Father Vince Fernandez was never a Church of Saint Mary parishioner, however he spent many hours on this campus studying at the School of Saint Mary.
When were you ordained a priest?
I was ordained June 30, 2018 and my temporary assignment is at Holy Family Cathedral.
What is next for you after this assignment?
At the end of September, I go back to Rome to finish my License in Spiritual Theology from the Angelicum (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas).
Does that give you any insight as to your future assignments?
Yeah, the goal with Spiritual Theology was for me to become a spiritual director in the diocese, a great need for the Diocese of Tulsa. I hope when I get back I will have some spiritual directees to guide along their faith lives.
Do you see some of your directees being priest and deacons, or kids at Bishop Kelley, or adults in parishes?
We’ll see who comes to me. My degree gives me a lot of insights into the spiritual life and prayer. I’ll be able to help whoever needs spiritual direction.
You grew up at Saint Bernard’s Church. Who were your pastors?
The whole time I was there I had only two pastors: Father Barnard Jewitt who was a hoot – a blast, and Monsignor Patrick Gaalaas who is one of the holist men I’ve ever met. Both were inspirations for me. They’re both very different men, but the sides of the priesthood that they showed me and the vocation to the priesthood was inspiring to me as a young man.
When did you attend the School of Saint Mary?
I graduated from the School of Saint Mary in 2006.
Do you have any great memories from your time there?
I remember I took an advanced English class with Mrs. Thalken. It was really, really hard. I think it was a combined seventh and eighth grade class. She really pushed us. When I went to Bishop Kelley, the intro freshmen classes were very easy compared to Mrs. Thalken’s class. I think all my classmates would agree that she prepared us in terms of English. We were ahead of the curve in terms of writing papers. I appreciated her. Even now, it helps me with my homilies.
Were there any moments in the school that helped plant seeds of a priestly vocation?
Yes, I remember being encouraged a lot by the faculty and priests there – Monsignor Dorney, Father Jack, and Father Joe Townsend. I remember the religion classes being very helpful in learning about my faith. I remember tackling some of the more difficult issues in our faith and exploring those things.