Father Randolph Sly Ordained for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter
We ask our readers around the globe to pray for Father Randolph Whitcomb Sly and thank the Lord Jesus Christ for the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity.
I wept throughout much of the beautiful ordination liturgy. I couldn't hold back the tears of gratitude to the Lord for His fidelity to this wonderful man who sacrificed so much to live his life at the heart of the Catholic Church for the sake of the world. They were tears of joy for the Church which will be richly enhanced by his priestly ministry. Finally, they were tears of brotherly affection. I had the privilege of being his friend during his journey home to the full communion of the Catholic Church. I acted as a road-sign as he made the way, being pulled by the Splendor of Truth. Father Randolph Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online.
The new priests hands being annointed with holy Chrism by the Bishop. All photos taken by and provided with great generosity by Dave Barron.
STERLING, VA. (Catholic Online) - On Saturday June 23, 2012, I attended the ordination of Deacon Randolph Whitcomb Sly to the Holy Priesthood of the Catholic Church. Father Randolph Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. The ordination was conferred by his Excellency, Bishop Paul S Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. The Ordination took place in the majestic Church of Our Lady of Hope in Sterling (Potomac Falls), Virginia.
That dynamically orthodox Parish is overseen by its Pastor, Fr. William Saunders. He is a priest's priest, beloved by his parishioners and known for his solid preaching and teaching. He is also deeply admired by Father Sly for whom he has served as a model and mentor. Among the priests, deacons and lay faithful in attendance was the Very Reverend R. Scott Hurd, the Vicar General of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. He represented the Ordinary of the Personal ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson.
I wept throughout much of the beautiful ordination liturgy. I couldn't hold back the tears of gratitude to the Lord for His fidelity to this wonderful man who sacrificed so much to live his life at the heart of the Catholic Church for the sake of the world. They were also tears of joy for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which will be richly enhanced by his priestly ministry. Finally, they were tears of brotherly affection.
Father Sly is a dear friend of many years. I first met him when we served together in an ecumenical effort which brought the Ten Commandments to elected members of the U.S. Congress. We quickly became friends. We shared a deep love for the early Church fathers, theology, Church history and so much more. As a revert to the Catholic Church, one who returned as a result of my own hunger to find the fullness of truth, I recognized in then Archbishop Sly the signs of what would later come in his life.
I had the privilege of being his friend during his journey home to the full communion of the Catholic Church. I acted as a road-sign as he made the way, being pulled by the Splendor of Truth that is the ancient yet ever new Catholic faith. Years later, my friend Fr James Kauffmann of St. Benedict Parish in Richmond, Virginia (whom I served as a deacon for several years) received now Father Sly and his wonderful wife Sandy into full communion. The two of us catechized them both in a personal process crafted to meet their own unique circumstances.
This former Protestant Archbishop knew that coming home to the fullness of the Catholic Church meant selling all to buy the treasure in the field.(Matt. 13:44) He laid aside a thriving ministry of many years with no assurance of any possibility of ordination to either the diaconate in Christ or the Holy Priesthood. Over the years that followed his entry into the Church he humbly offered his multiple gifts in many ways, including serving as the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He has been a model in his love for the Lord and fidelity to the Church. The fruit was evident in the lives of the many faithful who attended his priestly ordination on Saturday.
It was also evident back on June 2, 2012 when Father Sly was ordained to the diaconate in Christ by his Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. On that day I had the privilege of vesting him in diaconal stole and dalmatic. I knew then that he was only going to be a deacon for a few weeks. However, I was happy to share the ministry with him even for a short time.
His excitement over serving as a deacon was evident as he wrote me of his joy at serving the altar and proclaiming the Gospel. He signed each E-mail with "YBD", meaning "your brother deacon". I have to admit, it refreshed my own diaconal vocation, now into its seventeenth year, at a time when I needed the encouragement. However, I longed for the day when "Deacon Randy" would be ordained to the holy priesthood. He has a priestly soul and the Church needs as many priests as the Lord can provide in this new missionary age.
I am persuaded that Saturday's priestly ordination of Father Sly was a prophetic seed. It is a part of the entire prophetic action of the establishment of the Ordinariate for groups of former Anglicans by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. He is the Vicar of Christ and is acting in that capacity for the whole Church in this historic moment in Catholic Church history. Clearly, these ordinariates are very dear and important to him. On April 20, 2005 then newly elected Pope Benedict XVI gave his first message at the end of a Mass he had concelebrated with the members of the College of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. He signaled his mission:
"Nourished and sustained by the Eucharist, Catholics cannot but feel encouraged to strive ...
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