St. Didacus Catholic Parish

The thought of celibacy was painful and confusing

“Actually,” says Father Michael Sinor, “I ran away from the idea of being a priest. I didn’t think I could be celibate.”
  • “Actually,” says Father Michael Sinor, “I ran away from the idea of being a priest. I didn’t think I could be celibate.”

St. Didacus Catholic Parish

4772 Felton Street, Normal Heights

Membership: 800 families

Pastor: Father Michael Sinor

Age: 61

Born: Oakland

Formation: University of California-Irvine; University of San Francisco; St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park

Years Ordained: 25

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Father Michael Sinor: It depends upon the homily. If it is for a Sunday, I usually start reading and praying about it the Monday beforehand. Reading commentaries, thinking about what the Scriptures are about, and how they apply to our lives is something that bounces around in my heart and mind for two or three days. The actual writing is usually only a couple of hours. I write them out so I don’t repeat myself over the years. I have some help translating the Spanish, so I usually have to have those ready by Thursday morning at the latest…. I try to blend some exegesis with situations that apply for our day and time. The Scriptures are always the center of my focus.

SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

FS: My favorite topic to preach about would be God’s mercy or just the way God works in our lives. As a priest, I have the privilege of seeing and experiencing in a unique way what God is doing in the lives of people. That is a grace. It’s all about what God has done for us through Christ, is doing right now, and will continue to do for us in Jesus Christ.

SDR: What is your main concern as member of the clergy?

FS: My main concern is that we get so busy with our lives that we miss the many ways God reaches out to us in his love. There are so many voices in our culture, so many desires within us. But our deepest hunger will always be the love and the peace that only Christ can give us.

SDR: Why did you become a priest?

FS: Actually, I ran away from the idea of being a priest. I didn’t think I could be celibate. It was too painful and confusing. But God let me do all the things I thought I wanted to do to be happy. But nothing else really did. Only when I really surrendered to him and let him guide me did I truly find peace. I believed that being a priest was the best way for me to respond to the love of Jesus.

SDR: Why Catholicism?

FS: I grew up Catholic, but lots of people do and they don’t necessarily practice the faith they are baptized into. I believe that Catholicism expresses the truth of God’s love and revelation. Certainly other religious expressions contain much truth, but I believe that Catholicism expresses the fullness of God’s truth and revelation to our world.

SDR: What is the mission of your parish?

FS: The St. Didacus Catholic Community strives to foster God’s Kingdom with the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the one body of Christ. As a community, we proclaim the Word of God, celebrate the Sacraments, pray and serve one another. As God’s children we accept his invitation to grow in Christian faith, hope, and love by ministering to all people. 

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

FS: When I die, through the mercy of God, I hope in faith to rise from the dead and experience the fullness of Christ’s love. I look forward to being with those I have loved who have gone before me to the Kingdom of Heaven.

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