Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bishop Jerome Listecki: Special Moments of Ordination Rite

"One of the most impressive aspects of the ordination rite is after the bishop imposes hands, which is the conferral of the sacrament itself. Priests who are present for the ordination are invited to also impose hands as a sign of solidarity with the bishop and the newly ordained. To view the priests of the diocese and visiting clerics impose hands is a wondrous sight. I watched as the priests, many of whom I know personally, opened their priesthood to these newly ordained. They would now share in the sacrifice, build His Church and contribute to the priestly tradition of the Diocese of La Crosse and of the universal Church. In my own recollection of that moment in my ordination, over 600 priests imposed hands, and that part of the ceremony took nearly an hour. I personally felt the blessing of my brother priests, and I pray that our newly ordained felt the same towards these men who so courageously serve the Church.

"Another special moment in the ceremony for me as the ordaining bishop is the reception of their first priestly blessing. I knelt before them and prayed that their priestly life might be as fruitful as mine, that the grace of the sacrament might enrich them every day of their lives, and that they may share generously the priesthood that has been given to them. At the end of the blessing, I kissed their hands, which, now anointed with sacred chrism, would offer the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. These men are now representing Christ to the world. The first blessing of a priest is a privileged blessing and, as I finished the ceremony and returned to the sacristy, I viewed a number of family, friends and seminarians kneeling before the newly ordained and receiving a priestly blessing. I encourage all of you, should you encounter one of these newly ordained priests, to request his blessing. It’s a special time for the Church and their priestly life, and besides, a blessing is always welcomed."
~ Bishop Jerome Listecki, Diocese of La Crosse, WI ~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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