May 19, 2014
Jimmy Hsu, CSP
Jimmy Hsu first contemplated becoming a priest while participating in the youth group at Sacred Heart Chinese Parish in his hometown of Plano, Texas. Now, Deacon Hsu awaits his ordination to the priesthood May 24 at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City.
Encouraged by family and friends, Deacon Hsu was inspired by the example of the Paulists he met at the University Catholic Center while earning a philosophy degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
“My family has always been supportive of whatever I do, and they are proud of my decision [to become a priest],” Deacon Hsu said. “And the Paulists have been there to help me process my experiences in formation and become part of the community.”
Deacon Hsu entered the Paulist novitiate at St. Paul’s College in Washington, D.C., in August 2008, after graduating from the University of Texas at age 19. After the yearlong novitiate experience, he officially became a Paulist after making his first promise with the community and began academic studies for the priesthood at the Catholic University of America, also in Washington, D.C.
“[Making your first promise] gives you a sense of meaning and direction,” said Rev. Mr. Hsu upon hitting that milestone.
After two years of studies, Deacon Hsu got some on-the-job training, serving his pastoral year at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids. Serving there for a full year gave Deacon Hsu a glimpse of his future as a priest, living in the rectory with the other Paulists, assisting with Masses and with various parish ministries.
“The last few years have given me experience living and working as part of a religious community,” he explained. “It gave me a broader view of the Church and a broader view of people in general, plus an understanding of where God is in the midst of this world.”
Deacon Hsu then returned to St. Paul’s College for his two final years of academic studies and formation. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate on Sept. 6, 2013, by the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The evening before his diaconate ordination, Deacon Hsu made his final promise with the Paulist community, where some 100 family and friends, along with his Paulist brothers, gathered to witness his pledge to live and work as a Paulist for the rest of his life.
Excited about his upcoming ordination and priesthood, Deacon Hsu is ready for the challenges the future holds.
“I will be happy to serve in whatever ministry and in whatever place [the community] decides,” he said with a big smile.