Friday, June 08, 2007

Newly Ordained Priests

Bishop Peña recently ordained four new priests in the dioceses.

Eduardo Gomez
Juan Rogelio Gutierrez
Juan Pablo Davalas Picago
Juan Pablo Robles


There was a homily given at the ordination of two other recently ordained priests, Brandon Ware and David Dutra, on May 19, 2007, that I feel was exceptionally well done and was consistent with the teachings of Our Lord. Enjoy.

Homily for Ordination to the Priesthood - Brandon Ware and David Dutra : May 19, 2007
Given by the Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

My dear brothers to be ordained to the ministerial priesthood, Brandon and David, the words Jesus spoke in Matthew’s gospel to the disciples he directs to you this morning.

“You are the salt of the earth.” The flavor you bring to priestly ministry is your personal zeal and the motivation to serve God with a generous heart. Your hands will be anointed by the Holy Spirit to offer to God the sacred mysteries of our faith and to bless those whom you serve. You are not anointed to be some kind of ecclesiastical functionary but rather one who is sent to awaken faith in Christ among those who have grown drowsy and to strengthen in conviction those who believe.

There are some in the Church today who do not look forward in hope with the eyes of faith but tend to be preoccupied with looking back in some kind of nostalgia for a Church they never experienced prior to the Second Vatican Council. I encourage you to study the history of the Church as a living and developing tradition and not to look back as Lot’s wife did or you might end up being a pillar of salt rather then the “salt of the earth.”

Those looking back want to give to the Church new forms of triumphalism, juridicism, and clericalism. The triumphalist wants to exercise authority through aggressive condemnation and excommunication and believes that the Church not only has the truth but also all the answers to every modern dilemma. Christ is indeed the Truth but we must seek out with humility and in light of the Gospel how to respond to the many and varied demands of living in today’s world. We are a servant Church, which proclaims the truth in love. We do not impose the gospel on the world. We seek to persuade by grace.

The juridicist searches out laws new or old to justify personal positions or ideologies in the Church. Especially they like to focus on liturgical practices. They incline to creating unnecessary hoops for people to jump through. The Church, of course, needs law to insure good order. But the purpose of all laws in the Church is the same as for all the works of the Church: “propter homines and propter nostram salutem” - for us, for our good and for our salvation.

The clericalist exaggerates the authority of the priest creating a new authoritarianism. The clericalist operates as if the priest is entitled to special status and privilege in the Church and in society. He gives little merit to collaboration with the laity. The ordained priest, however, represents Christ the Head and Good Shepherd of the Church. As Head of the Church Jesus came not to be served but to serve. As Good Shepherd he gave His life for the flock. The good priest patterns his life on Jesus the servant of God and remembers that the whole Church (Head and members) is the Body of Christ.

I have always treasured the words of my first pastor when I was newly ordained: We are here to serve the people and to do it with a touch of class.

“You are the light of the world.” Light first of all gives off warmth. As the sacramental presence of Christ the Eternal High Priest you bring a caring and warmth by your presence. The presence of the priest in celebrating the liturgies of the Church is one of faith and not just of style. Like Christ in the Eucharist you need to be a real presence among the people. This does not mean that you need to be at every event but it does mean that you need to be with the people outside of church on Sunday, with families when they are hurting, with the sick and dying - to anoint them and to bring some words of comfort and to give some of your time, to be there when they need the healing and comfort of the Lord Jesus and his friendship. The shepherd stays with the sheep. The priest who rarely leaves his room puts his light under a bushel basket and gives little light to the people of God.

Your light will burn brightly if you are men of prayer. I am not talking at this point about saying prayers or presiding over the liturgy. Neither am I talking about spiritual exercises as such. I am talking about hearing the word of God, the prayer of receiving the word of God deeply in your minds and hearts. Jesus said: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” The First Letter of John reinforces this teaching of Jesus: “Whoever keeps His word, truly has the love of God been made perfect in him.” Only the priest who prays is spiritually alive.

After being a priest for forty years I realize each day how terribly weak and inadequate I am. God has anointed us as priests to represent Christ and to serve in His name. So often we blur this image, but in a marvelous and mysterious manner God accomplishes His will though our ministry. “Do you love me?” the risen Jesus asks us as He did Peter. Like Peter we respond: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Then Jesus says to us, in spite of all our denials, in spite of all our limitations, “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”

We pray that our four new priests will be filled with the Holy Spirit as they continue their lifes in the priesthood.
~Kanickers

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great homily for newly ordained priests. It should be required reading for all new priests in the Catholic Church!

Anonymous said...

Yes, and the homily at the 8:30 mass at HSP was great! God must know when we can't take Louey anymore and sends us some strength in the guise of a visiting priest. Thank God Louey is too lazy to do all of the masses at HSP. The visiting priest seemed annoyed by the disorganized fashion in the way things are done at HSP now (who wouldn't be?), but luckily some "old hands" were counted on to help.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this great homily with us. At the 12:30 Mass, right before the opening of the Eucharistic prayer, the lady at the piano played "America, the Beautiful." Now, I love that song, but to play it right before the Eucharistic prayer???!!!! We were not at a sporting event or a military event. Playing this song and having some of the parishioners start singing the words totally interrupted the sacredness of the Mass. Please get a priest who respects the Mass, please!

Anonymous said...

I went to the 8:30 Mass. I was totally embarrassed. It had to be a horrible experience for the visiting priest. He apologized to the community after Mass for getting so upset. It was like he had to do everything himself. Nothing was organized. Nothing was ready; no alter servers, no washing of the hands, no assigned readers, etc. He even had to leave the alter to go get the missal to say Mass. I’ve NEVER seen anything like that before. I’ll say this; going to Mass at Holy Spirit has really become an experience! Father Louie should be SHOT!

Anonymous said...

Anon #4 should be embarrassed for that last statement. Peace and Justice????????? I don't think so!
Mass must be for some merely an exercise in picking away at things to criticize. Perhaps after the local firing squad does its job, the peace and justice mob will peacefully take over and restore the "vibrant" atmosphere that was claimed with such arrogance.
Shame on you for such hateful comments. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Shooting Louis would be a little harsh don't you think? Honestly, the chaos is not only Louis' fault. There are many "followers" of Louis that also allow the 3 ring circus to continue. They even contribute to it!!! Well, like these followers said "Now it's our turn." Yes, indeed it is! Saddly, they probably think that all is well at Holy Spirit. After all, they get free advertising in the church.

Anonymous said...

Considering what he had to put up with, I wonder if that priest will be back? I hope he gives Louie a piece of his mind about what a disaster HSP has become.

Anon #4 said...

OK, maybe shooting Louie would be a little harsh. I was just using that as a figure of speech. But there is no doubt about where the fault for all this confusion lies. The man is just not a good administrator. It is his responsibility to insure that everything goes as it should during Mass, isn't it? Maybe he should go to OLS to get a few lesions from Fr. Guss. He is at every Mass, even when he is not saying Mass, just to make sure everything is in place and things go as planned. It goes with the territory of having your own parish!

Anonymous said...

An observation - notice how two of the four recently-ordained priests for the Diocese of Brownsville are named "Juan Pablo"? I wonder if these two young men were pre-ordained (so to speak) for this role by parents who mightily prayed for a son to become a priest and so named their sons for our previous pope? Now, I have absolutely no problem with people praying for vocations to the ordained priesthood and no problem with parents praying that one of their (male) children becomes a priest. But, it seems a bit more than coincidental that 2 of the 4 bear the name of John Paul II. Let us hope that these two young men truly answered a call from God to this very specific vocation - one of many ways to serve - and were not pushed into the ministry by overzealous parents. After all, the call to any ministry is very unique and personal, and comes from God.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #5
Using your own very words "shame on you for such hateful comments":
"the peace& justice mob", "firing squads"
I wonder why some of you have such hate for even the words "Peace& Justice"; you certainly don't waste any opportunity to blame the HSP Peace& Justice people for everything you don't like, regardless of its veracity or not.
You are implying that anonymous #4 is a member of the Peace & Justice group?. As I understand, anybody can send comments to this blog. Why are you so sure that anonymous #4 is a member of the Peace& Justcice organzation? I didn't like his/her comment either, even though the basis of the criticism was true. It made me sad because it lacked understanding and compassion, and made me wonder if some people use deceiving tactics when sending messages to the blog to make the "others" look bad.
Be careful with your own words and actions of hate.

How can the bishop and leaders of the church ignore the terribly broken state of Holy Spirit Parish? Isn't this one of the many examples of what became of this once wonderful parish? The body of Christ at Holy Spirit is broken perhaps beyond repair.

David Rodriguez said...

The ignorance of some of the people who leave their comments is astounding. Whether you agree or disagree with Monsignor Brum or Bishop Pena you forget these are men of the cloth and are due our respect. Becoming a Priest is a calling, a calling from God. When you belittle them by calling them brumie, louie or bish you also belittle God.
Take some of this negativity and turn it into something positive, why don't you sponsor a seminarian. I Do. These future priests are in need of your support.
God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

In response to David Rodriguez, I do not agree with your commentary that we should respect the clergy because they are men of the cloth.

Respect is earned. If they do not respect ones views or their right to be included, how can anyone respect them merely because they wear the "cloth". They need to show and earn that respect to all people not only those they like. Until then, I will not respect those that do not respect me for who I am.

Anonymous said...

"Men of the Cloth" What does that mean anyway? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say we are Men of the Womb?

Church Employee Who Has Seen It All said...

Mr. Rodriguez:

Thank you for your post and your blessing. I am constantly amazed at the fact that the owners of this blog and the parishioners of Holy Spirit who post here (I am not one of them) allow the free exchange of ideas and points of view, even those contrary to their own. This is particulary edifying to me because they themselves have not been granted this common courtesy.

I agree with you that petty name calling will get us no where, but I completely disagree that people should be respected simply because of what they wear. Those days are gone and if you give it some thought, God must be pleased. He wore a simple garment and owned no fancy attire and in the end, His robe was gambled for by those who killed Him! Don't emphasize the externals and consider that God judges what is in our heart, not on our back.

Also, just as there are good and bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, law enforcement, there are good and bad vocations. Not all of them received a calling to the priesthood or the religious life, some were not fit for much else in life and acting pious seemed like an easy thing to do and get paid for. Some of them were expelled from other seminaries quite frankly, but here in our Church, the need is so great that just about anyone can be ordained or accepted from elsewhere. You see only what your rosy colored glasses allow you to see, the reality is quite different because these men are, after all, men. They received a sacrament of service that you and I did not, but they are still men. Their job is to preach Christ Crucified to a world seeking answers, but sadly for us, very often they themselves are evangelized by the world instead.

Before you think me some liberal flamer who wants everyone to be ordained and/or married to whatever, stop. I am more like you from what your post implies and I love our Church as you do. I believe that Christ instituted the ordained priesthood upon the twelve apostles during the Last Supper. He could just as easily have instituted a universal priesthood during the feeding of the five thousand, but it is clear to me that the Church only teaches what Christ Himself instituted about the priesthood. They are a select group, set apart for holiness and service. They are not to lord it over the rest of us, and that is what this group at Holy Spirit wants you and me to understand.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Rodriguez: I used to believe that all priests deserved my respect UNTIL I learned of all the sexual abuse committed by priests. I have now come to believe that becoming a priest may indeed be a calling for some, but for most, it is simply a career choice. Louis Brum and Bishop Pena have proven that to me. It appears to me that they chose a career in which they would automatically recieve "respect" and power. I will never believe that Louis Brum was called by God. His callous and egotistical actions do not represent my God. He is a proven liar that possesses many qualities of a sociopath. The sad part is that many of his followers probably see this in him and STILL continue to make excuses for his actions, because he is a man of the "cloth."

Anonymous said...

to this last comment to Mr. Rodriguez,
What gives you the right to question God's calling? You are the one with callous and egotistical words. Talk about a psychopath - you fit the description. I believe you can make even our Lord cry when he looks down at what you are doing?
Remember judgement day - you have to face Our Lord face to face and give an account of your actions.
I am glad I am not in your shoes....

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS SAID THE FOLLOWING:
Father Louie should be SHOT!

THIS WEB PAGE NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN!

FR. BENJAMIN said...

I AM NOT OF THIS PARISH BUT IT SEEMS THAT THE LOVE OF CHRIST HAS CEASED TO EXIST. PRIESTS ARE HUMAN LIKE THE REST OF HUMANITY WITH A TERRIBLY DEMANDING AND OFTEN UNAPPRECIATED JOB; YES, I CONCEDE THERE ARE MEN THAT SHOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN HOLY ORDERS, BUT EVEN SO; SOME OF THE COMMENTS I HAVE READ CAME STRAIGHT FROM THE PITS OF HELL. MAYBE, JUST MAYBE THERE ARE PROBLEMS OTHER THAN YOUR PRIEST (OBVIOUSLY) AND IF YOU WOULD STOP THROWING ROCKS LONG ENOUGH YOU MIGHT HAVE TIME TO ADDRESS THEM. ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN, AIRING THESE COMMENTS IN A PUBLIC ARENA LIKE THE NET;IS AN EMBARRASSMENT AND SHAME TO THE ENTIRE CHURCH.THERE ARE THOSE OF US THAT SERVE GOD AND OUR PARISH BECAUSE WE LOVE BOTH OF YOU, I FOR ONE HOPE I NEVER STOP MAKING MISTAKES BECAUSE IT IS BY THEM I AM REMINDED TO BE HUMBLE,AND LEARN AND GROW IN THE SERVICE OF GOD. INSTEAD OF SHOOTING YOUR PRIEST WHY DON'T YOU TRY LOVING HIM TO DEATH, YOU MIGHT BE SHOCKED AT THE RESULTS.
OH, ONE OTHER THING, YOU MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE CONCEPT, BUT THERE IS A THING CALLED PRAYER THAT ALSO HAS INCREDIBLE RESULTS.
FR. BENJAMIN
CASA DE PAZ CATHOLIC FELLOWSHIP