Monday, July 7, 2014

You Are a Priest Forever...

It's been a hectic couple weeks, but mostly in a good way.  And the "run run run" business started with an event of great joy:  the ordination to the priesthood of a fellow parishioner, Justin Blanc, the son of friends.

The ordination Mass was scheduled to start at 11 am in Wheeling, WV.  Which would have meant a 5 am start.  No.  Not happening.  Some of us do not do early mornings well.  So:

And a Hampton Inn two miles from St. Joseph Cathedral.  And, by the way, if anyone needs to spend the night in Wheeling, that particular Hampton Inn is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in.  Evening prayers together from the Liturgy of the Hours and then a very pleasant time on the patio.  Then morning prayers and breakfast before an early arrival at the Cathedral so that our choir could practice.

I had never been to the cathedral before.  It's beautiful:

But it's small compared to my own parish church, which made me smile.  Sin of pride and all that.

An ordination is a powerful ceremony, full of symbolism.

Led by the bishop and priests who come from all over the state for the event:

Pledges of obediance:

The trading of a transitional deacon's vestments for those of a priest:

And the presentation of the new priests, here with our own permanent deacon, Deacon Dave Galven:

And then the new priests con-celebrate Mass with the bishop and brother priests who come to participate.

The next day Father Justin celebrated his first Mass as the principal celebrant at his home parish of St. James.

A lovely new tradition has started of presenting the towel used to wipe the oil of anointing from the hands to the new priest's mother, and the stole worn when the new priest hears his first confession to his father.  They will be buried with these.  Then, when they stand before the Lord and are asked what they have done for His people, they can show them and say "We gave a son."

First blessings after Mass:

And food.  There's always food.

Father Justin will spend the Summer assigned to a nearby parish, then return to Rome to complete his theology degree.  And then it will be up to the bishop as to his assignment.  Any parish will be lucky to get him - he is a remarkable young man.


  1. Good to hear of a good young man answering the call!

  2. May he live a long life in God's Word!

  3. Wonderful! Made me smile knowing there's one more good priest on earth.

  4. A life in service to God and your fellow man is well spent.

  5. @Rev, Keads, Juvat, NFO, David, Rick - In recent years we've had men become monks, be ordained to the permanent diaconate, and be in formation for ordination to the permanent diaconate. I think there is at least one young man now considering whether he has a vocation, but this is the first priestly ordination we've had for more than 100 years. So it was a happy, happy day.