New priest Rev. Patrick F. Buckley assigned to St. Stephen's Parish

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    WARWICK-He loved the excitement of the fast moving currency market but after a casual visit to a church near his workplace, he soon discovered that his true vocation was to become a parish priest. Father Patrick F. Buckley, a former foreign currency trader with the firm of Smith Barney, was ordained as a Catholic priest by New York's Cardinal Egan in St. Patrick's Cathedral on May 15. A couple of weeks later, Rev. Buckley reported to his first parish, the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, in Warwick, where he now serves as Parochial Vicar. Father Buckley, 40, the son of Alice and the late James J. Buckley of Manhattan, begins his priesthood late in life. When he was growing up in Manhattan, he recalled that no one ever suggested that he become a priest. He went to high school, played soccer, graduated from college, started a lucrative career, enjoyed dating and was looking forward to someday marrying and raising a family. "One day," he recalled, "I stopped in St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street. Spiritually, it was like a fork in the road." His unplanned visit occurred during a holy hour of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Father Buckley loved the peace and quiet of the church, a far cry from his daily activities, and he began to return for this devotion on a regular basis. He prayed for guidance and soon realized that, perhaps, God was calling him to the priesthood. In 1997, Patrick Buckley entered St. John Neumann Residence where anyone who believes he might have a vocation to the priesthood, has an opportunity to study, reflect and receive guidance to determine if this is the right decision. He was certain that it was and he entered St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY. "It's the grace of God that I'm here," said Father Buckley. "He wants me here. I know that, and I want to be here."