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Celebrating the ordinations of three new priests

News of the Diocese

May 24, 2012

Bishop Lennon's column from the Catholic Universe Bulletin

Last Saturday morning the Diocese of Cleveland celebrated the Ordination Mass for three deacons to become priests of our Diocese. The Entrance Antiphon for the Mass captured very well what was happening. The Antiphon came from Chapter 3 from the Prophet Jeremiah. The line read: ?I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently, Alleluia.?

Almighty God continually provides for His people in so many generous ways, beginning with the sending of His Son to be like us in all things, except for sin, so that through His suffering and death and His resurrection we may be saved. God?s goodness and generosity does not end there. So much does He love us He gives us the Church, He gives us the Sacraments, He gives us His revelation, He gives us a place in His family when we are baptized becoming His sons and daughters, He gives us His love so much does He wish us to be with Him forever. And the list goes on and on of God?s care for us.

Last Saturday?s celebration was an example of God?s care for us. As presented in Jeremiah, God chose our brothers Deacon Peter Kovacina, Deacon John Mullee, and Deacon Patrick Spicer to be appointed shepherds for us. These men were not ordained for their own interests, but rather were ordained for service in God?s name acting in persona Christi for our spiritual and religious good, for the Faithful of the Diocese of Cleveland.

What took place last Saturday should make all of us pause and give thanks first to God for His providing priestly care for us, and second for these men for saying ?YES? to Christ?s invitation to each of them--?Come, follow Me.? Also, Saturday?s Ordination is a wonderful reminder for us to give thanks to God for the faithful priests we have in our Diocese who care for us and provide leadership in following the three-fold work of Jesus as teacher, sanctifier, and leader. God has been gracious to our Diocese over the years by providing good priests and we are blessed with their responding ?YES? to Him.

In the Preface prayed at the Ordination Mass we caught a picture of the heart of a priest?s ministry which so comprehensively provides for our needs. The prayer reads: ?They are to

renew in his name the sacrifice of human redemption, to set before your children the paschal banquet, to lead your holy people in charity, to nourish them with your word and strengthen them with the Sacraments.? This is the heart of a priest?s ministry.

Growing in appreciation for what God has provided us with in the Sacred Priesthood, Saturday?s celebration was marked by a Cathedral filled with God?s People. Family and friends of those to be ordained were present, as were people from the parishes where they had served as part of their formation, and Faithful from around the Diocese to witness God?s taking care of His people.

Sizeable numbers of consecrated religious, deacons and priests, and all five of our bishops also were present. It was a true cross section of God?s People who were in the Cathedral participating in the celebration of the Ordination Mass. As one may suspect, many thoughts ran through my mind on Saturday. There is one in particular I wish to share.

Jesus taught us not to be hesitant about asking God for what we need. He said it often, and most succinctly when He said: ?Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you.?

Recognizing the wonderful gift God has given us in the Ordained Priesthood, we all should be seeking ways to further vocations by our prayers and by voicing our esteem for the Priesthood thereby building up an atmosphere that is supportive of recognizing God?s call to follow Him as a priest and having the courage to embrace the call.

May God bless all the priests of our Diocese for their faithfulness and leadership.


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