Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Clark

7/10/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Priests have a deep call to serve their Creator and their fellow man.

Each Spring the Catholic dioceses and Archdioceses across the nation have the distinct pleasure to celebrate the men who have answered the call of the Lord as priests. No matter how any priests I have talked to over the years, I don't think I will every truly understand the depth of this call to serve their Creator and their fellow man in this sacred position. Further, I don't think I will truly understand the emotions that each man experiences through on his specific ordination day. 

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver.

Highlights

By Michael Clark

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/10/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: ordination, priest, God, Lord, calling, cathedral, Catholic,


DENVER, CO - I had the honor of attending the ordination of a friend here in Denver, attending both his ordination Mass and his first Mass as a new priest. In those two days I witnessed an amazing array of what our church has to offer.

The ordination Mass was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver and started very similar to any other Mass with a processional. This processional, however, was a bit longer than the average Sunday Mass. A variety of men marched down the center aisle of the cathedral starting with the Knights of Columbus with their customary swords, capes and feathered chapeaus. Next came men from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, who can trace the roots of their order back Duke Godfrey of Bouillon and the First Crusade. Behind them, a multitude of priests processed, representing not only teachers and mentors but also friends. At the end came the four ordinandi, their vesting clergy, and Archbishop Samuel Aquila.

The Cathedral is a cavernous church complete with the traditional organ and choir loft. Their voices were majestic. As one of the ordinandi was originally from Brazil, we also had the pleasure of guitar players singing in Portuguese. Of course, while beautiful, nothing could top seeing the four men ordained as priests. For me, it seemed as if the whole cathedral was in silent when each one knelt before the Archbishop as he laid his hands on them, continuing the Apostolic succession that began all those centuries ago. What truly brought tears to my eyes was eyeing each of these new priests prayed over, hugged and blessed by all of their now brother priests. One by one they embraced their new brothers as the four men were now part of a fraternity that I doubt us lay people can truly understand. The years of education, prayer, meditation, and soul-searching all came to fruition as they stood before the altar of the Lord.

Inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver.


Archbishop Aquila also had wise words for the new priests telling them their formation was not done with Holy Orders and that they should keep their eyes fixed on the Good Shepherd. He admonished them that there is nothing worse than an angry priest because that priest does not know Jesus. 
However, when they experience Jesus, they will know joy. As a sinner, I was glad that Archbishop Aquila also told them to never tire of being merciful, especially in Confession. Wise words indeed.

If this story ended here, it would be a marvelous tale, but it does not. Each of these new priests had their own reception afterwards, a time to celebrate with family and friends. The invitation we received had a description on it stating that his reception would be much like a wedding reception complete with dinner and the opportunity to embarrass him. Personally, I enjoyed seeing a childhood photo of him and his twin brother dressed in their Batman and Superman Halloween costumes.
 
Perhaps even more special was the next day when each new priest celebrated his first Mass. Our friend's Mass was on the opposite side of Denver in Commerce City, at Our Lady Mother of the Church parish where he spent time during his formation.

What a great name for a parish by the way. And as awesome as the Ordination Mass was the previous day, his first Mass showcased the breadth of the Catholic Church. The procession in some ways mirrored the magnificent Ordination procession from the Cathedral but with much more flair and contrast. The parish has four Masses every Sunday: two in English and two in Spanish. That being said, the procession started with parishioners dressed in traditional Aztec costumes complete with large drums that boomed through the church.

My one year old daughter was mesmerized by the bright colored feathers of the costumes but was a little scared of the loud drums. The procession of priests was shorter, only about 20 or so, close friends and mentors. The Knights of Columbus were there in full regalia. The parish also has a handbell choir whose delicate ringing contrasted the booming Aztec drums.

We also were treated to Gregorian chants, incense, and the traditional organ and piano music one normally encounters at a Sunday Mass. Also, did I mention that the pastor of this bilingual parish on the northeast side of Denver is from Krakow, Poland? Other than the Latin rite, I'm not sure what else could have been included. This mass was a sampling of what our church has to offer, a wonderful mixture of culture, traditions and liturgy
.
And there lies the extra gift of this ordination weekend: the opportunity to experience a wide range of Catholicism. Our church is ancient, dating back to the original Apostles and the time of Jesus. It's seen its share of persecution, heresy, political turmoil, changing nations, Ecumenical Councils, churches that range from someone's house to grand cathedrals, Gregorian chants, burning incense, the Great Schism, Crusades, Inquisitions, gifts of the Holy Spirit, Marian apparitions, a host of Saints and an expansion of the Great Commission around the world. We are 1.2 billion strong and have incorporated a multitude of cultures and peoples into the church. My experience during this ordination weekend is proof of that. If you haven't been to an ordination, I highly recommend attending one.

Usually dioceses hold them in either May or June. If you are able, adopt a seminarian. These men who become priests travel a long and arduous road before tending their flocks. Support them any way you can, be it prayer, money, or simply inviting them over to dinner. If your diocese doesn't have its own seminary, check out other parishes. Find a Byzantine rite parish and experience the ancient Divine Liturgy. Don't be afraid of a Latin Mass parish. They'll have a translation for you. The point is we Catholics have a rich and wide history that continues to add new ways to encounter and praise the Lord. Branch out and see for yourself.

On a local note, congratulations again to Fathers Warli, Joseph, Nathan and Jason.

Blessings

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Blog

Book Review: Encountering The Manuscripts

Image of

By Norm LeDonne

I never gave much thought as to how the New Testament came to be written. I had assumed that someone carefully compiled the various writings sometime in the late 1st century, and that an intact New Testament existed from that time. That being said, I was frequently ... continue reading


Jesus Loves You: Trust in Him!

Image of

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN, CPC

There is so much to prayer beyond simply asking God for all that we need in this life. When we trust in Jesus, and subsequently praise and worship Him for all that He is, we are surprisingly and profoundly filled with hope for today and eternity, we encounter sublime ... continue reading


Who Am I

Image of

By Norm LeDonne

Humble people often have times in their lives when they receive an honor that they think they did not deserve. This praise may lead them to ask the question "who am I to deserve this?" They consider themselves unworthy of the glory for whatever reason and they question ... continue reading


The Storm of Resistance

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

The powerful winds swirled and twisted around my body as I stood there motionless. It danced so close to me, yet left me completely unscathed. It circled round me as if I was the eye of it's existence standing there in it's center completely calm and at peace. My arms ... continue reading


We Can't Give Up On Marriage

Image of

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Considering the recent focus on the family both inside and outside of the Church, it seemed fitting that we'd find ourselves under a spiritual attack, targeted directly at our Achilles's heel. Thus, I wasn't startled to sense that persistent nagging in my gut that ... continue reading


An Encounter With Jesus Through The Hand Of A Child

Image of (Blue Caleel/Pinterest).

By Jackie Stammen

Surprises. Our God is full of surprises. A mentor in my life once told me to expect surprises in life, you are sure to have them. Good or bad, you will experience surprises. Three weeks prior to the end of 2014 (good riddance, you crazy year, I am so glad you are well ... continue reading


The Nails

Image of

By Norm LeDonne

The Nails is a heartfelt ballad by Michael Schroeder, expressing the remorse and love felt by Christians when pondering the great sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. The song itself is subdued and quite simple in structure and performance. However, this ... continue reading


On Being a Catholic Christian:

Image of

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN, CPC

Being a Christian today can be riddled with challenges and awkward times. Being a believing Christian is not for the faint of heart, or for those looking for popularity or worldly reward. However, they are compelled to embrace the high road whenever humanly possible, ... continue reading


So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary World

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Beginning on Saturday of this past weekend, the phrase made popular by Gene Wilder's character in the 1971 film, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "So shines a good deed in a weary world," has been dancing around in my head. I guess it would be logical for me to ... continue reading


My Winged Messengers

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

Whenever I have been blessed to spend time in the chapel at the retreat house at the Abbey at the Genesee, an assortment of birds always flies above and around the exterior of the chapel as I first begin to pray - carefree, chirping, doing what God created them to do, ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ecclesiastes 11:9--12:8
9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, 'Return, children of ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:43-45
43 and everyone was awestruck by the greatness of God. But while everyone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 24th, 2016 Image

Martyrs of Chalcedon
September 24: A group of forty-nine Christians slain in ... Read More