Fr. David Loeffler: Call to priesthood came early in life

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted lays hands on Dcn. David Loeffler June 11, ordaining him to the priesthood. (Billy Hardiman/CATHOLIC SUN)

See the full story on the ordination:
Four ordained to the priesthood

Meet the other new priests

It was always there — the calm, hushed murmurings to Fr. David Loeffler’s heart as he felt God’s love drawing him to the priesthood. He took his faith seriously, sharing it with his family when he would play Mass at home, to the point of reprimanding them if they fell asleep during his “homilies.”

“I cannot think of a time that I didn’t want to be a priest,” said Fr. Loeffler, who was ordained on June 11. “I often tell people that Psalm 16 is my vocation story in a nutshell. In particular, there is a verse that says, ‘He has put into my heart a marvelous love for the faithful who dwell in his land.’ That sums it up. When I was very young, the Lord gave me a great love for His people and it has only grown.”

The son of Mike and Susan Loeffler, Fr. Loeffler is the eldest of two sons and belonged to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma.

“My home parish is now St. Paul’s in the Diocese of Phoenix,” he said. “As providence would have it, my parents were married there and I was baptized there. Since becoming a seminarian, the parishioners of St. Paul’s have enthusiastically welcomed me and I can honestly say that I feel very much at home.”

After graduating from Yuma Catholic High School, he attended Franciscan University of Steubenville where he earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology. He went on to earn a master’s in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics. He graduated this spring from the Pontifical College of Josephinum, with an M.Div., an S.T.B. and an M.A. in theology.

While Fr. Loeffler always felt called to the priesthood, it was a bit difficult for his mother who felt as if he would be giving up his chance to fall in love and have a family.

“We were talking about this one day and I told her that she was missing the whole point. ‘I’m not giving up the chance to fall in love. I want to be a priest because I am already in love,’” he explained. “She tells me that she has had great peace about my vocation ever since then. Now when she tells people about my vocation, it is obvious that she is happy, excited and proud.”

As a new priest, Fr. Loeffler is more aware of his own inadequacies and more amazed at the unexpected and surprising work that God is doing in people’s lives.

“I sometimes tell people that the best part of being ordained is that I get front row seats to all kinds of cool stuff that God is doing.”

Assigned to St. Daniel the Prophet Parish, Fr. Loeffler looks forward to preaching and teaching at the Scottsdale church.

“‘Faith comes through hearing,’ as St. Paul has said. When faith is stirred up through the power of God’s word, everything else comes alive,” he explained. “My greatest challenge will be sharing in the mystery of people’s helplessness and loneliness, without reducing it to a mere problem for solving. Pope Francis really has a gift for this sort of presence. His example has been challenging me to get comfortable with discomfort.”