A Priest Forever

On day in May we got something special in the mail.  It was an invitation to an ordination.  Never in my life had I been to an ordination or received an invitation.  The children were all buzzing with excitement.  John was instructing everyone to bring rosaries and anything else they wanted to be blessed because the blessing of a new priest are said to be strongest.  We marked the date on our calendar and before we knew it, the day was here. 

The Diocese of Nashville’s Bishop David Choby was ordaining Tien Tran.  This man has gone through an awful lot to become a priest.  You can read his story here.  In that story, which I read a few days before the ordination, one of the lines that struck me was this: 

“There were several times as a seminarian, that the language barrier seemed too high for Tran to clear, he said. Discouraged, he would ask God, “Why do you make it so hard?”

But at his lowest moments he would receive letters and calls of support from people throughout the diocese and Father Steve Wolf, who was then the vocations director.

“They prayed for me and helped me keep my vocation,” Tran said.”

Praying for vocations has been a priority in our family, especially since we moved to Tennessee.  For the past 3 years we have sent Christmas cards to the seminarians telling them of our prayer support.  When ordination nears, we pray especially for them, because that time is crucial.  For those reasons, those few lines really made me feel like our prayers for the seminarians really do make a difference.

Back to ordination…The Mass was absolutely beautiful.  It is quite a gift to see the ritual of ordination.  Those men now have an indelible mark on their soul for eternity.  They are called to spread the Gospel and serve God’s people.  It is quite a sacrifice.  When it was over, the bishop and the priests all processed out and you should have seen the new Fr. Tran glowing as he walked.  Nothing could make that man happier than giving up everything to serve God.

That day we got a family blessing and had some rosaries blessed.  It was a very special day, another one that we will never forget.  I gave John the camera and he captured some images.   (Kevin took the picture of seminarian Brendon Johnson and the people whom he was talking to.)

ordination 09 1 (Brendan Johnson carrying the cross as everyone processed out.)

ordination 09 2 (The altar at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, TN)

ordination 09 3 (Some of Fr. Tran’s first priestly blessings.)

ordination 09 4 (Kevin’s picture)

Ordination 09 5 (The glowing Fr. Tran with some of the family.)

Don’t forget to pray for vocations, pray for seminarians, and all priests.  They really do need the prayers.  Also, if you get an opportunity to attend an ordination, I would encourage you to do so.  It is quite an experience.

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