Sunday, May 31, 2009

Can It Be 45 Years Already?!

It slipped up on me! The 45th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, which took place on May 31, 1964, at St. Charles Seminary, Carthagena, Ohio.  

There used to be a saying around the rural area of the Seminary: that "when the dandelions come out on the lawn, it's time for ordinations."  I have no doubt that they were out in all their glory on that beautiful morning.  Ten of us deacons, along with the class of subdeacons, lay prostrate on the marble floor of the Assumption of Our Lady Chapel as the choir and congregation besought all the angels and saints of the Church to pray for us as we prepared to take one of the most significant steps in our young lives. Bishop Paul Leibold, then Bishop Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who'd been a school classmate of my Mom and my Aunt Florence, layed hands on us.  After the Eucharist which we all concelebrated with him, once we were ordained, Father John Byrne, C.PP.S., Provincial of the Society of the Precious Blood invested us with the distinctive mission crucifix and chain which we wore in our preaching ministry, after the example of the founder of our Order, St. Gaspar del Bufalo.  It was a good day, a joyous day, and will always remain etched in my mind and heart.  

Thanks be to God for 45 years of blessings and ministry with my fellows Christians!   

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