Taking their places
Today the Cathedral of Saint Paul welcomed our new associate pastor, newly ordained Fr. Erich Rutten -- just two and a half weeks ago he prostrated himself in the very same Cathedral and promised obedience to God, Church and the Archbishop, one of 15 men ordained that day as priests forever! Today, June 15th, 14 of these men began their diocesan ministry in their various parishes (1 is returning to Rome for a licentiate degree before returning to serve in the diocese).
Today, as I saw newly-minted Fr. Rutten, for the first time in the Cathedral, lift high our Lord for us to "behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world," I could not help but grin. His face was glowing, I think it was the light of Christ from the Host reflecting upon him, blessing him. And the same thing was (I pray) being repeated across the Archdiocese, as the newly ordained were sent near and far throughout the area, to bring Christ to the people and the people to Christ.
Later tonight, our Cathedral's Young Adults group (of which Fr. Rutten is de facto our new fearless leader!) hosted another installment of Theology on Tap (on "Reclaiming the Feminine and Masculine" with Dr. Anne Maloney, a fabulous philosophy professor!). Once again, we had a "sell-out" crowd of around 200 young adults, eager for the truths of the faith and the support of faithful peers. Just about every single one of our Theology on Tap evenings have attracted well over 100 people a night, and this night's crowd of 200 or so is not uncommon for us. Well, with all that in mind, seeing Fr. Rutten be able to simply immerse himself into the crowd - praying, teaching and getting to know his new flock - was beautiful.
For all that is wrong, there is so much that is so right! For all of our Archdiocese's faults, I look around at the rest of the country, and I pray that the vast areas of cloudiness look to the bright spots that are out there, and humble themselves enough to take the narrow road.
The Catholic News Service also revisited the occasion of St. Paul's recent ordinations in an article on this year's large ordination classes from 6/14 -
One of the newly ordained, Father Randel Kasel, also credited the archdiocese at large for routinely praying for an increase in vocations.
"There's an archdiocesan prayer, and I will not underestimate that," he told The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper. "It is a very specific, efficacious prayer."
During the ordination ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Archbishop Flynn advised the ordinands to "let people see you at prayer, let them see you before the Blessed Sacrament, let them see you with your rosary, let them see you meditating on the Scriptures in the church."
Read the article at: Across country, newly ordained priests come from varied backgrounds