Fr. Joseph’s Welcome and 1st Homily

  • Start date:
    June 27, 2018 1:00 pm
  • End date:
    July 11, 2018 12:00 am



“Hello everyone, my name is Fr. Joseph. I am one of the nine men who were recently ordained this past May for the Diocese of Paterson. I want to begin by saying how happy and excited I am that Bishop Serratelli has assigned me to your parish!

I grew up not too far from Clifton in the town of Rockaway, NJ, where I have lived my whole life. Growing up in Rockaway, my home parish was St. Cecilia’s, and it was there that I attended their parochial school. After graduating from St. Cecilia’s, I attended Morris Hills High School, and following my graduation in 2010, I joined the Diocese of Paterson as a seminarian where I attended the College Seminary at Seton Hall University. In 2014, I graduated from Seton Hall and began graduate studies at Theological College, which is the Major Seminary at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

While studying in D.C., I was able to meet seminarians from around the country, so one of the activities I really enjoy doing is traveling to visit friends and experience different regional foods, so I guess you could say that I am a “foodie” of sorts. Another activity I really enjoy doing is fishing. Living in Rockaway there are many lakes in the town itself, as well as the surrounding towns, so I enjoy fishing on them during the summer. I also enjoy gardening and growing different kinds of vegetables over the summer.

I am excited to meet all of you in person and to talk with you all in the next couple of weeks. Please pray for me as I begin my first assignment as a priest, with you all at St Philip’s, and I will be praying for you all. I am excited and looking forward to being able to minister to you and to be a part of your community.”

God Bless,
Fr. Joseph Boykow


Hello everyone, my name is Fr. Joseph Boykow. I’m one of the newly ordained priests for our diocese. I just wanted to start by saying how happy I am to be here at St. Philip’s, and to have you as my new family. This is actually my first homily and assignment as a priest, so I feel like Jairus’ daughter – like I’m gonna die.

About eight years ago, I graduated high school in Rockaway and I immediately entered the College Seminary at Seton Hall University. The College Seminary was such a wonderful experience for me in so many ways: I was able to learn more about my faith, I was able to grow closer to Christ, and I was able to make new friends from around the country. There were so many joys in my life that came out of being at Seton Hall. I can also remember when I was first starting out, being a little worried and a little nervous about having to live away from home with seminarians who were much older than I was, having to adjust to a house schedule for when to pray and when to eat, and on top of all that trying to find the time to fit into my schedule an hour to pray on my own, all while being a full time college student. It was very daunting in the beginning for me. I felt a little like Jairus’ daughter feeling sick and dying from the stress of all this. What got me through that feeling was a quote from Padre Pio that I stumbled upon while I was doing research for a paper. The quote from Padre Pio read: “Be cheerful. Jesus will take care of everything. Let us trust in Jesus and our heavenly mother, and everything will work out well.” Even though this quote may seem very simple, I really took it to heart and began to pray with it. I began to put my faith and my trust in God even more during this difficult time, that He would give me the courage and perseverance that I needed to get through this. For me, that prayer was like finding Jairus and having him bring me to the Lord to raise me from the dead and heal me. This prayer helped me to change my perspective on the situation and it gave me the help that I needed to continue and to not give up, but instead to come back from the dead and carry on. I was able to put myself in God’s hands through prayer and I was able to see clearly what he wanted for me in my life. Because of prayer I was able to have a wonderful eight years in seminary.

I’m sure that all of us at one point or another in our lives have had this Jairus moment. Where someone whether it was a family member, a coworker, a classmate, or even a close friend, was a Jairus for us. Someone who was there by our side to be with us and to help us through a difficult time in our life, whether it was helping with the transition to a new school or a new job, helping someone get through a difficult breakup, or walking with someone during the loss of a loved one. Each and every one of us has that special person or persons in our life that helped us through the darkness and into the light. And that person whoever it may be, is very important, because like Jairus, they do something very special for us – they bring us to Christ. Whoever those people in our life may be, pray for them and thank God for putting them in your life. Prayer brings us to Christ. Through prayer we can see the light of Christ shining through those dark and difficult times, so that by experiencing Christ’s love and mercy we may be raised from that death that we may be experiencing and given new life.

Prayer helps us to remember that Christ is always present in our daily lives. He is there to raise us from that death that we may be experiencing and to heal us of every sickness that may have caused it, just like He did to Jairus’ daughter. That is what God wants to do for each and every one of us as His adopted sons and daughters. Prayer helps us to remember that God loves each one of us no matter who we are, and because of this we can have the knowledge and certainty that when we turn to Him and ask Him for help, He will listen to us.

Offer your prayer as a way to put your trust completely in God, because as Padre Pio says, “He will take care of everything.” Even when things may not be going how we would like them to, prayer allows for us to have trust and faith that God will help us through that difficult time, because God is always with us and He will never abandon us. Even in those times we may feel alone or confused about what is happening in our lives, or where our lives are taking us, God is there with us walking by our side through it. If God was not with us, He never would have sent His son to come down and die on the cross for us so that we may have eternal life with Him in heaven. So, in those times of uncertainty or trouble that each and every one of us faces, have trust in God that He will help you. I offer you again this prayer that helped me to put my trust in God: “Be cheerful. Jesus will take care of everything. Let us trust in Jesus and our heavenly mother, and everything will work out well.”

God Bless, Fr. Joseph Boykow


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