"Would you attend an Ordination Ceremony? Why?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Ordinations to the priesthood are in the news lately. Most of it good. Greater numbers of priests are coming into the community. Greater numbers than before are of the "older" variety, some are in their early 60's and many are in the mid 30's and 40's. Some are widowers, some not. Many have imposing educational backgrounds and carry a solid portfolio of "secular" management experience with them.

It is a happy era for the church and it takes away a lilttle bit of the sting of the misconduct attributed to our clergy that has made the headlines for the greater part of the last decade.

Last Saturday the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the diocese of San Bernardino celebrated the ordinations of record numbers of priests. Both celebrations were marked by the presence of men who came from different corners of the world, all of whom had experience and talent. The hopes of both communities are high for what the future holds for them.

With the talk of human accomplishments pervading the first paragraph of this presentation, I have to say that as important as all of that is, the grace of God and the strength to answer His call are essential elements of the sacerdotal state.

The spirituality of the priest is what attracts us to him, not the fact that he has a law degree, an engineering degree or that he is a master computer technician. The attraction of the priest is his behavior in his relationship with God. The success of the priest is not in his engineering degree, it is in his personal sanctity and how it affects the community of the faithful.

The man who gets to the foot of the altar to present his "I am present" to the community of the faithful presents a complex set of gifts, strength, perserverance, love, faith and hope, to say nothing of kindness, mercy and generosity. Taking all of these things into consideration, would you go out of your way to attend an ordination ceremony? Why?
CLICK HERE to view the answers to this burning question.

Peace and joy.

Paul Dion, STL
ParishWorld Theology Editor