Take 5 with Father: Mass First, and Mass Last
HE IS: Father Benjamin Hembrom, TOR, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Fort Worth.
GROWING UP: Fr. Hembrom’s parents emphasized faith and education to their 10 children. Their village in north India only had a government-run school, so he began boarding at a Catholic school when he was five years old.
His parents farmed rice, wheat, and other grains — all dependent upon God sending the right rain at the right time. “By God’s grace and the work of my parents, they could pay for our school.”
FUTURE SELF: Young Benjamin was inspired by the good work done by his school’s religious sisters and priests and wanted to be a priest from an early age.
DEDICATED: While the siblings were young, “my mother dedicated one of her children to serve the world.” Her prayers were answered twice. Fr. Hembrom’s older sister is a nun in India. After 10th grade, Fr. Hembrom entered a Franciscan seminary.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Ordained May 18, 2009, the Franciscan friar was a teacher, then a principal and parish priest in India before he came to the Diocese of Fort Worth in July 2018.
A FRIAR'S LIFE: Fr. Hembrom enjoys the hospitality and the community life of being a Franciscan.
MISSIONARY MINDSET: “God gave us life. God called me. I am willing to work anywhere, to go wherever I am needed.”
BEST THING ABOUT BEING A PRIEST: “To offer the sacrifice of the Mass, every day. It’s the best part of my life. I am called to do that and I offer my life for that. I say each Mass as if it’s the last one.”
HEROES IN THE FAITH: Fr. Hembrom is partial to St. Francis of Assisi, as the patron and founder of his order, and St. Theresa of Kolkatta. “She changed the world doing small things. She won the hearts of many by doing it with love, because God loved us.”
FREE TIME: In his youth, Fr. Hembrom played soccer and made music. He still plays guitar (and learns violin) when time allows.
FUTURE PLANS: “Whether I am here or there, I have to do the work of God. God gives us the insight as the time comes. He will reveal it to us if we are open to Him.”