Here is an article my mom wrote about my brother, the priest, for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas webpage. It gives her (and my dad's) perspective about his vocation. Click here for the original. I have to say that my brother's ordination days, both as deacon and priest, were pretty darn special.
Little did we know, when our seven year old son Brian asked, "Can priests get married?" that God was already planting ideas in his head. After explaining that priests would be too busy to properly take care of a family, he was off to St. Patrick’s School. Later at a school Mass, the pastor was speaking about vocations and asked Brian if he would like to be a priest. He shook his little blond head no, so Father asked him what he wanted to be. Brian said, "I am going to be a bishop because they do not have so much to do." We chuckled over his answer and tucked it away in our memories.
Brian was a normal child, the fourth of five children. As he got older, he was excited to be able to serve Mass. He was a good student, enjoyed sports, and played on baseball, basketball and soccer teams.
We were a little sad when Brian decided to go to the University of Dallas as Eric, Heidi and Janet had gone to Benedictine College and we were very impressed with it. But once again, the hand of God was at work. As part of their curriculum, all UD students spend a semester in Rome. While Brian was there, we began to receive post cards from basilicas, cathedrals, monasteries, etc. and were pleased to hear him talk about going to daily Mass. On one postcard, he wrote, "Something is happening to me over here." The next semester, after returning from Rome, he called to say he was changing one of his majors (he had planned to major in math and physics) to theology as he was discerning entry into the seminary.
The idea of a son in the seminary was not foreign to us since Eric, our oldest son, was already at Mundelein Seminary discerning the possibility of a vocation. We were thrilled and amazed that God might call both of our sons to the priesthood. (As it turned out, Eric found that he was called to the vocation of marriage and is now a wonderful husband and father.)
Of course, there were times when we worried about our son becoming a priest (the commitment, the daily struggles, the vows to be taken) but eventually, when the other children began to marry, we found we were worrying about the same issues, only in a different way. Ever since our children were little we prayed that they would always follow the will of God, and He answers our prayers daily.
Archbishop Keleher asked Brian to study at the North American College in Rome and, once again, we had mixed emotions. What a great opportunity, but he would miss many holidays, birthdays, weddings, even the funeral of his Grandpa. Although our hearts sometimes ached for him, we had the great joy and blessing of visiting Rome three times while he was there. On the first visit, we were blessed beyond all imaginings, to attend a private Mass and audience (25 people) with Pope John Paul II. We still feel overwhelmed with emotion recalling the Holy Father looking into our eyes, smiling, placing a rosary in our hands and extending his hand to our family as he was leaving and saying, "Behold the family!"
The ultimate joy was Brian’s ordination day, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, June 29, 2002. The Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City was filled with family, friends, priests, Serrans, Knights etc. As Archbishop Keleher laid his hands on Brian’s head, the power of the Holy Spirit descended upon him making him Father Brian Klingele, a priest of God, able to change bread and wine into the very body and blood of Christ. With Mary, we humbly say, "How can this be that our son, born in a simple home of ordinary parents, could be chosen to perform this greatest of all miracles?"
My Mother, 92 years old and very feeble, sitting proudly in the front pew and witnessing the ordination of her grandson, said with tears in her eyes, "I never thought I would live to see this day."
Our prayers for him remain the same, that he will always be a holy, happy priest and follow the will of His heavenly Father in all things.