Cardinal Wuerl Ordains Seven Men to the Priesthood
June 21, 2014
“These priests will need to be a voice of invitation, re-proposing Christ, his Church and his teaching.”
WASHINGTON – In an action that can be traced back to the Apostles, seven men were set apart and ordained for ministry in the Catholic Church today by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington.
Reflecting on a priest’s public role in the life of the Church, Cardinal Wuerl reminded the seven men being ordained that a priest “stands in the midst of the faith community to teach, to lead and to sanctify. All of this he does, however, not in his own name, by his own authority or with his own intuition, but rather as the public representative and voice of the Church, its authentic teaching and received traditions.”
Cardinal Wuerl ordained Timothy Daniel, Tony D’Souza, Kenneth Gill, Cezary Kozubek, Charles Luckett, Aaron Qureshi and Christopher Seith at the Mass of Priesthood Ordination at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
“The priesthood remains unchanged, and the joy, zeal and excitement of ordination are identical from age to age. Yet, the context of ministry is always changing,” Cardinal Wuerl said in his homily. “The ministry of today’s priests, for example, is exercised in a culture that draws its inspiration from sources alien to the Gospel and too often hostile to its vision. These newly-ordained priests will be ministering to many who, unfortunately, do not know well the Church’s teachings and the reason for them. To them, these priests will need to be a voice of invitation, re-proposing Christ, his Church and his teaching.”
Cardinal Wuerl reminded the men that they are being ordained as the archdiocese celebrates its 75th anniversary. “It is a reminder that it is your turn now to continue the mission of this Church. The Church is constantly renewed in her leadership at every ordination. As I place my hands on your head and invoke the gift of the Holy Spirit, what all of us recognize is that it is now your turn to take up that challenge of Jesus ‘Feed my sheep,’” he concluded.
After making a promise of obedience to Cardinal Wuerl and his successors, the seven 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 as well as holy women and men of recent times, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, St. John XXIII and St. 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 and each is configured to Christ as Head of his Church. The more than 100 concelebrating priests also laid hands on the heads of the new priests.
The seven 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 seven new priests joined their archbishop at the altar for the consecration. The Mass concluded with a blessing from Cardinal Wuerl, “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 seven 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.
Fr. Daniel will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Rockville. Fr. D’Souza will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo. Fr. Gill will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Northwest Washington. Fr. Kozubek will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Hyattsville. Fr. Luckett will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church in Greenbelt. Fr. Qureshi will celebrate his first Mass on June 22, 2014, at noon at St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill Catholic Church in Washington. Fr. Seith will celebrate his first Mass on June 21, 2014, at 6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bowie.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
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