Sunday, May 26, 2024

Good News in Wichita: Four Newly Ordained Priests and Three Deacons!

Two years ago I attended the last Ordination Mass for priests in our diocese; last year we had four transitional Deacons ordained, but no priests. This year: four priests and three deacons; so next year, God willing, Bishop Kemme will ordain three more priests! I'm not sure if there will be ordinations to the diaconate next May.

I did not attend this year's Ordination Mass but it was an spiritually emotional event two years ago for me, particularly when Bishop Kemme thanked the parents of the priests. I watched this year's Mass on-line, live streamed from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The deacons were ordained on Thursday, May 23, the anniversary of Servant of God Emil J. Kapaun's death!

The Gospel for the Mass described Jesus sending the 72 disciples out like lambs among wolves to prepare different towns for His future visits, and Bishop Kemme did pick up on that line briefly in his homily.

When I heard that passage, I could not help but think of the recent news story about the priest who had to protect the Blessed Sacrament from desecration in Florida last Sunday:

Police in St. Cloud, Florida, have charged [Father Fidel] Rodriguez with one count of battery stemming from the incident, which occurred during the noon Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. . . .

Fortunately, the Diocese of Orlando is backing Father Fidel (what an appropriate name for a priest so faithful to his vocation) completely:

“At that point, the woman forcefully placed her hand in the vessel and grabbed some sacred Communion hosts, crushing them. Having only one hand free, Father Rodriguez struggled to restrain the woman as she refused to let go of the hosts. When the woman pushed him and reacting to a perceived act of aggression, Father Rodriguez bit her hand so she would let go of the hosts she grabbed. The woman was immediately asked to leave,” the diocese said in a written statement.

“It should be noted Father Rodriguez had no prior knowledge of the woman’s background. Further, while the Diocese of Orlando does not condone physical altercations such as this, in good faith, Father Rodriguez was simply attempting to prevent an act of desecration of the holy Communion, which, as a priest, Father Rodriguez is bound by duty to protect,” the diocese said.

The statement continues:

“The full video and the police report show the woman initiated physical contact and acted inappropriately. The priest was trying to protect the holy Communion from this sacrilegious act.

“In the Catholic tradition, the Eucharist is considered ‘the source and summit’ of worship and faith. The act of participation in holy Communion therefore calls for a proper understanding, reverence, and devotion. It is not something a person can arbitrarily demand and is certainly not a mere ‘cookie’ as the complainant called it.”

Please pray for Father Fidel and for our four new priests, Reverend Fathers Jesus Banuelos, Matthew Cooke, Caleb Kuestersteffen and Miles Swigart and three transitional deacons, Grant Husling, Joseph Mick, and Nicholas Samsel, that the wolves may stay away from them!

From the USCCB, a prayer for priests.

From the Fatima prayers, reparation for the desecration of the Holy Eucharist:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. 
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. 
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. 

I took the picture at the top of the Cathedral sanctuary during Advent, I think!

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