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:
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.