Father Andrew St. Hilaire

Father Andrew St. Hilaire

Age: 27

Lives: Gettysburg, Mechanicsburg from 2005-2019

From: Manchester, N.H. (from birth, 1992, until 2005)

Educated at: High School, Cumberland Valley High School; Undergraduate, Catholic University of America (2010-2014); Graduate/Seminary, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (2015-2019)

Family: Including my parents, my immediate family consists of eight people. I have one older sister, and four younger brothers.

Job: Parochial Vicar at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Gettysburg

Job’s reward: The opportunity to serve as a priest to a very active and supporting community is an immense blessing and reward. I would not change anything about it.

Job’s frustrations: The only true frustrations experienced in ministry come from my own shortcomings as a human being. I always wish that I can do better (and more) for the people that I am called to serve.

Very first job was: Landscaping for my neighbors.

Favorite food: Chicken Parmigiana

Pets: I never grew up with pets, and I likely will never own a pet due to the nature of my work. With that being said, I do like animals, particularly dogs and cats.

Hero: Blessed Stanley Rother (Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary Class of 1968, was martyred in Guatemala during their civil war in 1981).

Hobbies: Playing the piano, composing hymns, baseball, and reading

Pet peeves: Candidly, it takes a lot to get under my skin. With that being said, a lack of respect or kindness in conversation would most likely bother me the most.

Collects: If books count as a collection, then I collect a lot of books!

Best friend: As a priest, I would of course say Jesus! If we are not talking about God, however, I would say that I am very close to my family (i.e. my siblings and parents).

Would liked to have witnessed what event in history? It would be easy to say the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. However, as Catholics, we believe that we re-experience that very event, in its reality, every time we celebrate the Mass. So outside of that, I would say the Nativity (i.e. the birth) of Jesus.

Event that changed your life: The event that has, in many ways, altered the path that I am currently on would be my two months spent in Guatemala (June and July of 2017). Had it not been for that experience, not only would I have not matured to the extent that I did, but I would arguably not be here in Gettysburg now! My Spanish immersion was a considerable factor in me being assigned here.

Scariest moment: Experiencing an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Guatemala, was the most terrifying moment of my life.

Trait inherited from parents: I would not know which traits I would have inherited at this point from my parents, but I hope I would have inherited their generosity and sacrificial love by now. They are exceptional role models in regards to these virtues.

Piece of advice that you live by: I always seek to remember the words of Hans us von Balthasar (a 20th Century German Theologian): “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God.”

Favorite reading/author: I cannot answer that question because I have too many ‘favorites’ from which to choose. With that having been said, I grew up loving the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Favorite spot on earth: My favorite spot on earth (that I have visited) would be two places in the Holy Land: The Holy Sepulchre (the location of Mount Calvary and the tomb of Christ) and the Sea of Galilea. My favorite place in the United States is the lakes region in New Hampshire. I have, and will likely always, go there for rest and leisure.

Website you visit most: Besides my email and calendar, I would say the news. I read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, as well as Crux (a Catholic news source).

Would like concert tickets to see: Billy Joel or Matt Maher (although I have already seen both musicians live in the past!)

One bad habit: Depending on the reader, this may not be a bad habit – however, I love Mr. G’s ice cream, and I likely eat their ice cream more frequently than I should.

Five minutes with: The pope

What skill or lesson would you like to learn? I would love to have impeccable fluency in Spanish (Despite my time in Guatemala, I still have much to learn!)

What would people find surprising about you? One seemingly strange fact, if you know me, is that I am actually considered one of the quieter ones in my family!

What would make this world a better place? The world will always need to be better until the end of time comes. However, while we are pilgrims on this earth, forming our unity as identified members of Christ’s body (rather than basing our identity on arbitrary, worldly tribes) would make great strides.

What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? My older sister, Amanda, had her first child in the beginning of May. I was able to visit them in Milwaukee (where they live) just a few weeks ago and baptize my first niece. It was a great blessing!

How would you like to be remembered? I hope that I can be remembered as a priest who unconditionally loved his people. It is a very simple desire, but nevertheless very important to me.

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