Always a great weekend, when we celebrate Ordinations and three new priests unleashed on the Archdiocese. As always, the Rite of Ordination is an uplifting and joyous event for all who attend. (It should be on every Catholic's 100 things to do before I die list.)
I was honored that I was the first to Impose Hands after Archbishop, and to welcome the new priests to our order. All three really seemed to enjoy the day imensely. (Remembering back three years from tomorrow, I think my feet barely touched the ground all weekend!)
Sunday morning was Fr. McCarthy's Mass of Thanksgiving at the 8:30 at the Cathedral, and smells and bells was the order for the day. Everything was very traditional, as was expected from this new Father, even down to his vestments. He managed to make it through his first solo run (well, with a little back-up) without sending anyone to the hospital. (One definition of a good liturgy, and something not every priest can claim about his first Mass.)
The afternoon brought a short jaunt over to St. Joseph's for a much different celebration in Fr. Rey Taylor's Mass of Thanksgiving. The Spirit was making His presence felt a week early, as there were many 'Amen's thrown out from the congregation. The whole event was a good testimony to the African American Catholic Community, and one that was long overdue. My hope is that it is not another 33 years before St. Joe's welcomes a native son home to celebrate the Eucharist for the first time as a priest. (That's much too long in any parish, not just St. Joe's!)
(One last 'First Mass' to go for me, with Fr. Ron Haft next weekend at St. Antoninus, his internship parish.)
All in all, a lovely weekend, but the grind hit this morning as I finished up the paperwork and sent the files for these three out of my office. It was a good feeling to pass them along to Priest Personal and Priestly Formation offices. Congrats to St. Max, St. Charles Borromeo and St. Peter in welcoming them to their first assignments. It is a unique and special thing to help a 'Baby Priest' to transition from Seminarian to Pastor, be kind to them; but challenge them to grow into the priest that Jesus needs them to be.