Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever! Alleluia!! Bishop David Choby of Nashville ordained five men as transitional deacons today, Easter Saturday. God willing there will be seven priests ordained for this diocese in 2014. To think when we moved here about seven and a half years ago there were nine seminarians. Today there are thirty-five. I heard one young man say he was entering the seminary this next semester. Two are scheduled to be ordained as priests this year.
In our family we take praying for seminarians very seriously. After all, they are the future of the Church. Since we moved here, we send Christmas cards to the seminarians to remind them that the people back home and even in the far corners of the diocese are praying for them. We also think it is very important to have our children around the priests, seminarians, and religious. God has blessed us with opportunities to do this over the years. Also, when we travel, we make seeing churches a priority and when we go to Mass in different places, we speak with the priests there.
Anyway, today the Mass was just beautiful. The music was splendid. The seminarians processed to the front of the Cathedral of the Incarnation to the all male schola. Beautiful! Most of the parts of the Mass were sung in Latin. The rest of the choir was outstanding as well. The music was very uplifting and I could not help but think this must be a little hint of what Heaven hold for us.
We were sitting in the back, but could see most of what was going on. One of the seminarians sung the Litany of Saints and he has been blessed with a very strong, rich voice. As the seminarians, deacons, priests and bishops processed out, what stood out the most was the newly ordained Deacons were glowing!!
It brought tears to my eyes, as we have been praying for several of these men for years now. This seems like just a little confirmation that our prayers have been heard. (After each decade of the Rosary that we pray, after the Fatima prayer we add the Pauline prayer, “Oh Jesus Eternal Shepherd of our souls, send good laborers into Your harvest.”)
After Mass we spoke with Fr. Ty. As we were leaving, we saw Fr. Neely in the courtyard. I said his name, but he needed to speak to someone. But then he said, “Who just called my name?” I said that I did and asked him if we could receive his blessing since he is still within a year of his ordination. He seemed quite happy to give it to us. Then we proceeded out to the parking garage. The ride in the elevator is always fun with my children. I’ll have to see if I can post the video that James took. I looked at John and said, “Isn’t is fun to be from a large family. If it was only you, you would be missing out on this.” He could not help but to smile.
We drove over to the reception and hardly anyone got pictures. There are two blurry pictures of MaryEllen with Rev. Mr. Nunes. I’m so sorry they are blurry. The children all mingled with the seminarians and priests from not only our diocese, but others as well. We were able to receive another first blessing from a man we met last year at the Diaconate Ordination. He was a friend of Rev. Mr. McGowen, who we know who was ordained transitional deacon last year. We talked to this young man and found out he was a deacon and was being ordained on the day we were picking the boys up from camp. We promised prayer for him. We really never expected to see him again, since he is from Michigan, but there he was today. We were able to tell him about the Rosary that we prayed for him on his ordination day and he gave us his blessing.
At the reception, James brought one of his puppets. He was apparently pretty entertaining and several people were very impressed with the puppet he made. (Especially Fr. Tran.) He came over to me and showed me a fake dollar bill and a real bill of money from the Philippines. A seminarian had given it to him, but James told me he didn’t get his name. Later he did get his name, as the seminarian gave him his card… a juggler. (It reminded me of Fr. Francis Pfeffley in the diocese of Arlington.) I’ll have to update later to give you the man’s website as James has already gone to bed. That particular seminarian is from Arizona and he was giving out St. Juan Diego medals and was particularly impressed that John was born on his feast day.
It truly was a beautiful day, both the weather and the great gift of the ordinations of the five deacons. It was an honor and pleasure for us to be there today. Please pray this year for:
Rev. Mr. John Hammond
Rev. Mr. Gervan Menezes
Rev. Mr. Anthony Mutuku
Rev. Mr. Paul Nguyen
Rev. Mr. Christiano Nunes
Also, there will be two more men ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in October in Rome (God Willing.) Their names are: Michael Fye (whom we met this summer), and Philip Haliday, whom we have met at our home school co-op. Also, please pray for all those seminarians in the Diocese of Nashville.
Other prayer intentions for people we met today: Deacon Allen, originally from Kenya, but now in Texas who will be ordained in December and Rev. Mr. Morris who will be ordained in Ohio in May. And for seminarian Ventura (no relation, I’m told.) May God continue to bless and keep these men. And may God bless His Church with many stong, zealous, and faithful priests who will “say the black and do the red.”