On Monday, March 28, the Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, Archbishop of Philadelphia, offered Mass at Villa Maria in celebration of the school’s 150th anniversary year. After Mass he greeted the school community in the Marian Center lobby, shaking hands and posing for photos.
Archbishop Pérez met with student leaders from the school’s Peer Ministry, Mission and Ministry, and Villa Voice newspaper organizations. Students asked the Archbishop about finding his vocation, his priorities for the Archdiocese, and what he enjoys most about his work.
“God draws straight with crooked lines,” Archbishop Pérez said, telling the students that he explored other career options before deciding to become a priest.
He said that young people are a top priority for him in his role as Archbishop. Noting that people often say, “young people are the future,” the Archbishop told the students, “You’re nobody’s future — you’re the present… You’re getting a world that has a lot of issues.”
The Archbishop shared that he is happy to be back home in the Philadelphia area. “I have friends in Philly now that go back 40 years,” he said, noting also that he is now confirming children that he baptized or gave their First Communion.
Offering personal advice to the girls, Archbishop Pérez said, “Our lives are the sum total of our choices so choose well.” He urged the girls, “Stay close to the Lord and stay close to your family and your friends. And always know that choices have consequences.”