Screenshot_112915_042210_PMFather Lester Smith is the administrating priest for St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus. Father Smith is also the administrating priest of St. Malachy Church in Sherburne, New York.

Father Smith’s home parish is St. Paul’s in Rome. He attended Fort Stanwix Elementary School and completed his secondary education at Rome Free Academy. Father Smith’s post secondary schools include Virginia Military Institute, Hunter College in New York, N.Y., Utica College and the University of Albuquerque, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and certification to teach secondary education.

Father Smith studied for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University and was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1975.

Father Smith ministered at Holy Family in Fairmount, St. John the Baptist in Rome, Christ the King in Liverpool, St. Peter’s in Utica, St. Stephen’s in Marathon, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cincinnatus and is now ministering at St. Malachy’s in Sherburne and St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus in New Berlin.

Father Smith said he felt called to the priesthood after he returned home from the Vietnam War. “I had the sense that God desired me to become a priest and it kept growing,” he remembered. “After I got back from Vietnam, I kept hearing in church that they needed priests and it seemed that nobody was volunteering, so I figured I should do it. It took three years to make the decision. In the end, I figured it’s what God wanted me to do. I thank God for all the people who have helped me out along the way and have been so good to me.”

Father Smith enjoys serving as a priest. “I love trying to impart a vision of the kingdom of God through preaching and teaching,” he said. “I love working with people and celebrating Mass and absolving from sins.”