FORT WAYNE — A Mass of ordination for four Congregation of Holy Cross brothers to the priesthood, and four more to the ministry of deacon, was the occasion of a prayerful and socially distant gathering Sept. 5, the feast of St. Teresa of Kolkata, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame.
Friends and members of the extended family of Deacon Felipe Campos Reséndez, CSC; Deacon Robert Lisowski, CSC; Deacon Geoffrey Mooney, CSC; Deacon David Smith, CSC; and Father Joseph Pedersen, CSC; Father Vincent Nguyen, CSC; Father Zachary Rathke, CSC; and Father Gilbrian Stoy, CSC, were able to participate in the holy occasion via livestreamed video and in that way participate in their answer to the call to serve Christ “by whose ministry His Body, the Church, is continually built up here on earth into the People of God and the temple of the Holy Spirit,” said celebrant Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.
Blessed Basil Moreau had a beautiful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and would preach about the Sacred Heart, the bishop noted during the homily. He also addressed the candidates with a quote from the holy founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
“In one of his sermons, Father Moreau said: ‘Happy are the Christians who direct their eyes and their longings to the heart of Jesus Christ. They will find a fertile source of love for God and for their neighbor, because in devotion to the Sacred Heart everything breathes and inspires love.’ Felipe, Robert, Geoffrey, David, Vincent, Mark, Zachary and Gilbrian have directed their eyes and their longings to the heart of Jesus Christ. Having encountered and experienced the deep and intimate love of Jesus, they have answered His call and come today before God’s altar to be consecrated to Him in a new way, to be anointed for the holy mission of preaching, serving and ministering that love as deacons and priests.”
Father Moreau invited the faithful to enter into the ever-loving heart of Jesus, a heart filled with blessings, the bishop continued. “And he said: ‘Above all, let those of us who are honored by the priesthood seek refuge in this loving heart, for we are particularly charged to bring others therein. Let us celebrate the holy mysteries in the heart of Jesus … let us do all our priestly functions in the Sacred Heart, and it will spread over the exercise of our ministry the most abundant blessings.’
“I can’t think of any better advice to give to Vincent, Mark, Zak and Gil today. I pray that you will do all your priestly functions in the Sacred Heart as men immersed in the love of Jesus, whose love will spread to others through your life and ministry. This advice is also meant for Felipe, Robert, Geoff and David in their life and ministry as deacons this next year and afterwards, God-willing, as priests.”
The candidates had received a call to preach Jesus Christ as Lord and to live a life of humble service of God and His people, the bishop stated.
“Like Father Moreau, may you contemplate the Sacred Heart of Jesus often. … Brothers about to be ordained, may your hearts be ‘rooted firmly in the Lord, warmed by the Holy Spirit and open and available to your brothers and sisters,’ especially to the poor and the suffering and to the lost sheep. God anoints you today and He sends you, in the words of the prophet Isaiah ‘to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.’
“Brothers, in prayer, may you discover God’s consolation, His peace and His powerful love. May you be channels of that consolation, peace and love to the people you serve, bringing people closer to the Heart of Jesus. May you follow the counsel of Blessed Basil Moreau and do all your ministry in the Sacred Heart, the Heart of the Good Shepherd. Trust Father Moreau’s words that in doing so, it will spread over the exercise of your ministry the most abundant blessings.”
Several of the new priests and deacons have been, or will be, serving in parishes of the diocese. Two served diaconal years in diocesan parishes: Father Stoy at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, and Father Nguyen at Holy Cross Parish, South Bend.
Deacon Mooney will serve his diaconal year at Christ the King Parish, and Father Nguyen will be the parochial vicar at Holy Cross Parish.
Father Rathke has been appointed parochial vicar at St. Adalbert and St. Casimir parishes, South Bend, and Father Stoy will serve as parochial vicar at Christ the King Parish.
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