Friday, 03 June 2011 09:35
Four ordained priests, one a transitional deacon
Those attending the ordination of four men to the priesthood Saturday, May 28, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception may have initially thought Bishop Michael O. Jackels had picked up the wrong talk on his way to the Cathedral.
He began giving those attending an update on the TOGETHER Vision instead of reflecting on the priesthood and the ordination of the four men sitting directly in front of him: the Rev. Mr. Marco de Loera, the Rev. Mr. Daniel J. Duling, the Rev. Mr. John P. Fogliasso, and the Rev. Mr. Jeremy S. Huser.
“Thanks be to Jesus and his holy Mother, and to all the diocesan faithful,” Bishop Jackels announced, “I am pleased to report that we will be able to begin work in mid-June on the repair and update of the Cathedral, the mother church of our diocese.” He added that he will continue to visit parishes and prospective donors for the rest of the year to continue sharing his vision of the TOGETHER Vision:
• To see that we are members of a parish and a diocesan church family;
• To see that just like in a family we all bear a share of responsibility for the chores of our church family, contributing to its welfare;
• To see our need for programs of on-going faith formation and for priests.
“These goals take time, even a lifetime,” he said.
Bishop Jackels then explained that he began his homily with the TOGETHER Vision because it has a direct connection to the education of seminarians.
“We are blessed in the Diocese of Wichita to have so many men from our parishes who want to know if God is calling them to the priesthood, and if God is, to say ‘yes’ at ordination, and to live and minister as another Christ for the rest of their, hopefully, long lives,” he said.
Although it is a challenge to pay for the education and formation of so many seminarians, Bishop Jackels said he would rather be faced with that than the challenge of finding a priest to serve parishes, to be with the dying, to absolve sins, to preach the truths of Jesus, and who will lead at Mass and feed the flock with the life-giving Eucharist.
Bishop Jackels added that he has been thinking about the ministry of a priest lately because he is re-reading “He Leadeth Me,” by Fr. Walter Ciszek, a Jesuit who spent 23 years in Soviet prisons “for no other crime than being a priest.”
The other reason he began the homily with the TOGETHER Vision is because one of its goals is to strengthen communion. “There is a need for each believer to feel and live this communion in the parish and diocesan Church family, those who are ordained have to make personal what they receive with ordination.”
Bishop thanked Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary for being able to share in the joy of the ordination of four priests. “But because - as with garlic in cooking and incense at Mass - more is better, continue to pray daily and fervently for the spiritual and material success of the TOGETHER Vision.”
At David M. Voss’s ordination to the transitional diaconate the night before, Bishop Jackels talked about discipleship, and how those who wish to follow Jesus must “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
“And to live as a follower of Jesus is harder still when we are placed before others to be for others witnesses of faith: spouses before each other, parents before children, teachers before students, and deacons and priests before those they are called to serve.”
He said there is a special emphasis on serving and giving placed on priests and deacons, because they are no longer simply “hearers of the word, but also preachers.”
“No longer only recipients of the sacramental mysteries, now also stewards and ministers of them; no longer only taking part in the church’s charitable works, now also directing them,” he said.
A good question for any Christian to ask himself daily is if whether his day-to-day activities show he’s a follower of Jesus. “It’s even more appropriate for someone placed before others, like a deacon or priest, to ask whether his daily living of faith - selflessness, love, forgiveness and service - is noticeable and makes a difference in the lives of those God has called him to serve.”