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 June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Blog

The Law of the Jungle

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

In this next election cycle one thing is clear.  This nation must return to law and order. Law and order are the only safeguards against the law of the jungle. Over the centuries, there was a striving for freedom which culminated in the American Revolution.  ... continue reading


Paving the Way to Vote Your Conscience

Image of

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

This week, Hillary Clinton picked her VP running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a Jesuit-taught Catholic. Media pundits are touting his strong Pro-life personal views. However, a closer look reveals his political beliefs on vital social issues, such as the death ... continue reading


Laying Aside a Root of Bitterness

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

In spite of the desperate times in which we live, there has been a certain indulgence in bitterness among conservatives. There are those who wanted a "different" candidate to be nominated and rather than looking at the bigger picture, of the threats to liberty, ... continue reading


Ask for the Old Paths

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

There is a thought in modern day society that "newer is better".  To some extent, that is true. Who does not appreciate plumbing, sanitation, refrigeration, modern construction and transportation? And then of course there are electronics. We can instantly ... continue reading


Monday Musings - It's Not About Putting The Genie Back In The Bottle

Image of (123RF Stock Photo)

By Michael Seagriff

There was a time when nearly everyone entering a Catholic Church knew enough to genuflect, to remain silent and to spend time in intimate interior conversation with their Loving Lord locked behind the tabernacle doors. God deserves nothing less today. CANASTOTA, NY - ... continue reading


Get So Lost That You Are Found

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Recently I started reading a book called "Rediscover Jesus" because... well, because I've really been feeling my need to literally rediscover Him. Plus it was written by one of my favorite authors, Matthew Kelly. The book kept staring at me each time I'd pass by the ... continue reading


How to Become a Pro-Life Advocate

Image of Speakers for the upcoming Pro-Life Vox Vitae Youth Camp, July 31 > August 5th, 2016 with Catherine Contreras

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

Recently, I had the privilege to interview Pro-Life advocate Catherine Contreras, founder and President of Vox Vitae, a new Pro-Life organization located in CA.According to Catherine, Catholic Christians have an obligation to be politically aware and active. During my ... continue reading


The Cat's Out of the Bag

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

Before Governor Mike Pence's acceptance speech, Donald J.Trump gave a substantial speech and referenced something that should be of interest to all Catholics, Christians, and Jews.  He referred to the 1954 gag order put in place by Lyndon B. Johnson, who was ... continue reading


Then she broke down in my arms

Image of May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

By Michaela Daphne

I got to witness someone experiencing the loving power of Jesus for the first time in the middle of a Nandos Restaurant. BRISBANE, AU - She's a non-practising Catholic friend of mine who I've been praying for more than a year now. Each night I lift up my ... continue reading


Monday Musings - O, Lord Not Here!

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

I am humbled every time I am privileged to serve as a Lector and altar server. I usually exercise this great gift on Tuesdays in my parish. CANASTOTA, NY - Believe me, I know I am unworthy to be in the sanctuary that close to the Holy Sacrifice. I am painfully aware ... 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

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain true to his word, 'I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2016 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: Saints Joaquin (sometimes spelled "Joachim," ... Read More