Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Clark

7/10/2014 (2 months 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 months 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Blog

Glittery Streets...They're Never Enough Watch

Image of I am nothing with out you Lord.

By Jackie Stammen

Last fall I attended a three-day retreat on the northeast side of Nashville at Mercy Convent. It wasn't an ordinary retreat with large assemblies of people and small group sessions with lots of conversation. Nope, it was a small, silent retreat. Yup. Silent. Not just ... continue reading


Do You Treasure His Presence?

Image of There is an assurance and peace that comes with knowing God is always here.

By Michael Seagriff

My wife and I will be boarding a train later this afternoon to return home ending a nearly three week visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. I thank God that He blessed us with this unforgettable time together. Unfortunately, my visits to the local ... continue reading


Saturday's Chore List: Mock Pro-lifers and Tell Lies Watch

Image of Let us pray for the day when no woman wants to kill her own; the day when we all see human life for the gift that it is.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Just as your boyfriend cruises closer to the clinic, you see a commotion that looks something like a circus. Then you realize it's all happening right in front of the place you need to be. There's some lady with bright orange and crayon red hair standing next to the ... continue reading


Winning the Fight By Giving Up My Will

Image of He calls us to witness to Truth and to pray for peace for the babies whose lives are lost as well as for mercy for their misguided parents.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

For the remainder of my afternoon, I ruminated on the morning's event, on that internal whisper to remain undisturbed, on Father's temporarily unnatural stature and on that prompting to trust that my meager offering was enough. Turning to God's Word, I searched ... continue reading


Recalling Life-Changing Moments

Image of A moment in time where you feel and notice that, 'Yes, this is what life is about!'

By Michael Seagriff

There are times when we should just stop, sit and silently recall some of the life-changing moments we have experienced in our lives but may have buried in the stone piles of our minds. CANASTOTA, NY - My writing group recently suggested that we resurrect and record ... continue reading


Should you be waiting in prayer? Watch

Image of Sometimes it's ok to wait. Should you be waiting in prayer?

By Jackie Stammen

Lately my life has been in a place of waiting. Waiting on God. Waiting to see Him connect the dots with the things He is doing in my life. Waiting on Him to take the the blender of emotions and happenings that have been my life this year so far and see what He intends ... continue reading


'What Happened to the Zeal for the Salvation of Souls'?

Image of St. Dominic's Feast Day is August 8th.

By Michael Seagriff

Tomorrow, August 8th is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) prompts me to ask this simple question: 'What happened to the zeal for the salvation of souls'? CANASTOTA, NY - In 1946, Pope Pius XII warned us that 'The sin of ... continue reading


Learning to Make Time for the Holy Spirit

Image of We must set aside time every day to give permission to the Holy Spirit to work in us.

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Prosperity can be dangerous. When things are going well and we are successful, we have a tendency to turn in on ourselves. We like to believe that our prosperity and success are the results of our brilliance and our unique abilities. Although our cooperation with the ... continue reading


Are You A Walking Jesus?

Image of How do you show your love for Jesus?

By Michael Seagriff

At the time I made temporary promises as a Lay Dominican I had to select a religious name. Throughout my preparation as a postulant and novice, I had been exposed to a host of Dominican Saints and Blesseds - all worthy of emulation and whose example and name would ... continue reading


Finding God Through Suffering

Image of By God's grace, no cross He sends will ever be too heavy.

By Michael Seagriff

Let me repeat some obvious truths. God is more powerful than any of us. He draws each of us to Himself. He wants to excite our hearts. He longs to fill our minds and souls with the Truth. He desires that we yield ourselves totally to His will. CANASTOTA, NY - We are ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter