Saturday, May 26, 2007

Eight more gifts from the Spirit

Tomorrow, Pentecost, will be the day we celebrate the gift of God's Spirit to all the church. However, this morning we celebrated the gift of men to God. Eight new priests were created under the hands of Archbishop Harry Flynn and the assembled presbyters with him.

The picture captures the moment of the laying-on-of-hands. Those poor men had to kneel for nearly 30 minutes as first Archbishop Flynn then dozens of their soon-to-be fellow priests laid their hands of blessing upon them.

The eight were:

Greg Abbot
Dennis Backer
John Floeder
Nels Gjengdahl
Mark Joppa
Michael Kaluza
Paul Kammen
Joseph Quoc Thien Vuong

In recognition of this last ordinand, the choir of St Anne's/ St Joseph Hein from North Minneapolis sang a moving ballad in Vietnamese during the ordination called "I, the Priest." It is full of the pathos borne out of the Vietnamese peoples' great suffering and even greater faith.

It also best summarizes the "why" of priesthood, especially the last line. All through the song its lyrics properly identify these men of holiness with the great High Priest and Shepherd who is Light, Salt, the Flower of God's love.

Jesus, I am offering to you my life, my mind, my body and my soul.
I, the priest, am the light for the world.
I, the priest, am the salt of the earth.
I, the priest, am a flower surrounded by thorns, but I will not be afraid.

Like a child cradled in a mother's hands,
like a soldier dedicating his life to protect his country.
I, the priest, am the salt of the earth
so that I may be an acceptable offering to you.

I offer my body and soul in sacrificial love.

These men are called right now to become and live
what we all will fully come to be and live some day in the Father's house....
self-giving reflections of the image of Christ, the Imago Christi.

Lord, haste the day.

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