Cardinal Wuerl Ordains Five Men to the Priesthood

“You are the priests who will re-propose Christ as the answer to a world staggering under the weight of so many unanswered questions of the heart.”

June 16, 2012

Calling them “priests of the New Evangelization,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, ordained five new priests of the Archdiocese of Washington. Encouraging them to answer the call to bring Christ and his Gospel to this age, this culture, and this society, Cardinal Wuerl explained to the ordinandi in his homily, “All around you are those for whom the Gospel has lost its savor. Your ministry will be to those who were too often taught that their Catholic faith and its life-giving message is an option — to them you are sent today. As Jesus commissions you: ‘You will be my witnesses.’”

Cardinal Wuerl ordained Daniel Carson, Michal Sajnóg, Saulo Vicente, Patrick Lewis, and Mario Majano at the June 16, 2012, Mass of Priesthood Ordination at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The men were ordained in this order according to their diaconate ordination and their birth date.

“You are being ordained for a Church whose roots go centuries back into the past, whose ministry is exercised in the present and who continually looks forward to the future and the realization of the kingdom,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “Neither nostalgia for past moments nor anticipation of future glory should distract us from the reality of the now.”

The Cardinal went on to tell the priests to be excited for this new time in the life of the Church where they have the opportunity to show to the world that there is a truer path in following Christ’s way. “Rejoice in your calling, be glad in your ordination, because you have been invited into this new moment. Look around you and see the exciting signs in this archdiocesan Church of a fresh appreciation of the presence of God in our lives. See the renewed experience of the risen Christ in our self-awareness. Recognize the new sense of peace and confidence among those who see in the Gospel the words of everlasting life. And stand with those in the growing awareness of our call to defend our religious freedom.”

The Cardinal concluded his homily by reminding the ordinandi to savor this moment now and throughout their priesthood. “Always rejoice in the gift of grace you have just received and let your gladness and joy be apparent and generous.”

After making a promise of obedience to the Cardinal and his successors, the five men lay prostrate before the altar, symbolizing their total giving of self, just as Jesus laid down his life to bring salvation to the world.

The litany of saints was then sung and included the names of apostles and martyrs from the early Church and also holy women and men of recent times, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.

Then, in a gesture of apostolic origin, Cardinal Wuerl laid hands on each candidate’s head, the essential act of ordination, as a sign that the Holy Spirit is poured out upon them. The more than 100 concelebrating priests also laid hands on the heads of the new priests.

The five new priests were then clothed with the stole and chasuble, the vestments of the priestly office, and Cardinal Wuerl anointed their hands with Sacred Chrism. After receiving the offertory gifts from family members of the new priests, the Cardinal handed the paten and chalice to the newly ordained, and offered them the sign of peace, as did their new brother priests.

Moments later, the five new priests joined their archbishop at the altar for the consecration. The Mass concluded with a blessing from the Cardinal, “May God, who founded the Church and guides her still, protect you constantly with his grace, that you may faithfully discharge the duties of the priesthood.” The five new priests then offered their first blessing to those at the Mass, and then processed down the aisle to applause and cheers.

Downstairs in designated chapels, hundreds lined up to receive a personal blessing from the new priests, including family members, friends and some of their brother priests.

Father Carson will celebrate his first Mass on June 17, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mark the Evangelist in Hyattsville. Father Sajnóg will celebrate his first Mass on June 17, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. at the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville. Father Vicente will celebrate his first Mass on June 17, 2012, at noon at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bethesda. Father Lewis will celebrate his first Mass on June 17, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bernadette in Silver Spring. Father Majano will celebrate his first Mass on June 17, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours in Gaithersburg.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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