After 13 years in the seminary, Fr. Balaji Boyalla — known as Fr. B — was incredibly excited to be ordained a Pallottine priest on April 18, 1999. On that day, he kept hearing the same verse from John 15: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
“The Lord had chosen me to be at that altar,” Fr. B says. “I wanted to tell everyone, all those people who helped me and touched my life, how much I appreciated their support in my vocation to the priesthood.”
Throughout Fr. B’s journey to the priesthood, so many different individuals impacted his vocation, beginning with his family.
“I was born a third-generation Catholic in India, and the faith was very important to us,” Fr. B says. “My grandfather used to wake us in the mornings with his loud prayers! That’s how the faith was implanted in us during a time when India didn’t have many priests.”
Fr. B also remembers the importance of his parish priest from his hometown in India and his parish catechist.
“My faith was strong because of all these people,” Fr. B says. “The priest used to carry all the children and would tell us parables. There was also a catechist who would help us get ready for Mass, and I would hold his hand and walk with him.”
Because of these positive influences in his life, Fr. B first felt the calling to the priesthood at the young age of 7 or 8.
“I realized when I was receiving my First Communion that I had a vocation, but then I forgot about it until about 10th grade,” Fr. B says. “My cousin was joining the Pallottine order and asked me to come with him. I did, and when he left after one week, I continued my journey.”
After his ordination, Fr. B taught as an instructor at the seminary, served as Pastor at a parish in India and served at Holy Family Parish in Fort Worth, before serving as Pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Mineral Wells and St. Francis of Assisi in Graford.
Fr. B has always enjoyed reading and spending time with his friends. As a priest, he most enjoys working with those in greatest need.
“A priest is for God and people,” Fr. B says. “I enjoy being the Pastor, visiting the sick and being with those who have lost their beloved family members.”
In a time when our young people are encouraged to consider being doctors, lawyers and teachers, Fr. B reminds us to consider the religious life.
“We need people of God,” Fr. B says. “My advice to all men and women discerning their vocation would be not to think about one’s self, but to think about our faith and our Church. Understand that God is calling us, and think about others too.”
On July 1, Fr. B formally became our new Pastor here at St. Michael’s. He would like the faith community of St. Michael’s to know that he is always available for them and wants to visit personally with the families of the parish.
“I am your Pastor, and I want to be the Good Shepherd,” Fr. B says. “I don’t usually call my parish a ‘parish,’ but I call them my family. Allow me time to learn, and I will give 100 percent as part of our family.”