For more photos from the ordination click on the photo gallery at right or here.
For Video from the ordination visit our video gallery or click here.
By Tim Johnson
FORT WAYNE — It was a day of joy for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Father Andrew Budzinski became the first diocesan priest to be ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on Saturday, June 26, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.
Bishop Rhoades began Mass and said: “Today is a day of joy for me, Bishop D’Arcy, our priests and indeed for the whole Church in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. It is a day of thanksgiving for the gift of the priesthood, which the Lord bestows upon Andrew Budzinski in this ordination liturgy.”
Bishop Rhoades’ homily
The Rite of Ordination began with the formal presentation of the candidate, Deacon Andrew Budzinski, by Msgr. Bernard Galic, Deacon Andrew’s pastor at Holy Family Church in South Bend and the director of the Office of Vocations in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Msgr. Galic affirmed the readiness of the candidate.
Bishop Rhoades opened the homily with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI about the motivation of one who has responded with joy to the call of Jesus: “There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know him and to speak to others of our friendship with him.”
Bishop Rhoades spoke of how Deacon Andrew was prepared to offer his whole life in the priestly service of Christ and His Church, and he said, “Why else, my brothers and sisters, would a man be willing to leave all things, to promise lifelong celibacy, to embrace a life of obedience and voluntary poverty, to devote his entire life to the service of the Church? It is because he has heard the call of the Lord like Simon and Andrew and James and John in the Gospel we just heard. Like those four Apostles, Deacon Andrew has encountered Christ, has been ‘won over by Jesus’ gaze, his voice, his warm and strong invitation’ (Benedict XVI). Andrew has been called like those fishermen to share in Christ’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel of God, to be a fisher of men.”
Bishop related the readings to Deacon Andrew’s vocation. The Gospel recounted how Jesus called the Apostles to follow Him. “Having received the call to the priesthood, Andrew today says yes to that call,” Bishop Rhoades said.
In the second reading, St. Paul urged the Ephesians to live in a manner worthy of the call they received.
“St. Paul’s words can be applied to Andrew today as he receives the gift of priestly ordination, a gift not only for him, but for the Church,” Bishop Rhoades said. “In fact, St. Paul speaks of the gift and grace given to Apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers as equipping them for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ. In the sacrament of Holy Orders, the Lord equips Andrew for the priestly ministry. Today, the power of the Holy Spirit embraces Andrew through ordination to act in the person of Jesus Christ, the great high priest, the Head and Shepherd of the Church. The Holy Spirit is given to him for a specific mission in the Church — to be an instrument of Christ the Good Shepherd in the work of redemption.”
Bishop Rhoades said, as a priest, Deacon Andrew would be a coworker to the bishop and his successors in the apostolic mission entrusted by Christ. “You will preach the Gospel, shepherd the faithful, and celebrate divine worship as a true priest of the new covenant,” Bishop Rhoades said.
The bishop spoke of the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist: “Above all, you will celebrate the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, the great mystery of the Holy Eucharist in which the decisive event of our salvation, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, becomes present. Today you become a steward of the greatest treasure of the redemption, the Holy Eucharist, ‘the most sublime and most sacred function of every priest.’”
Bishop prayed that Deacon Andrew would always be devoted to the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of charity. “It is the heart of the Church’s life and the heart of our priestly ministry since it is the full gift of Christ to the Church, the greatest treasure of the Church, our Lord’s Body and Blood,” Bishop Rhoades said.
“As Deacon Andrew is ordained today,” Bishop Rhoades said, “the Spirit of the Lord will be upon him, as He was upon the prophet Isaiah in our first reading. The Lord will anoint him, consecrate him, for the holy mission of teaching, sanctifying and governing His people.”
He noted at times, the work of a priest would be challenging, “But the Holy Spirit will be upon you. The Lord Jesus will be ever at your side. God the Father will be watching over you. The Blessed Mother and the saints will be interceding for you as they do today when we ask for their prayers when you lay prostrate in this sanctuary. Even in the midst of trials and difficulties, you can be filled with joy, the joy of sharing in Christ’s priesthood.”
The Rite of Ordination continues
Following the homily, Deacon Andrew declared his intention to assume the responsibility of the office of priesthood and promised obedience and respect to the bishop and his successors.
During the Litany of Supplication the elect prostrated himself as a sign of his complete submission to the will of God while the customary Litany of Saints was sung.
Deacon Andrew then knelt before the altar as Bishop Rhoades and the entire college of priests processed by to lay hands on the head of the candidate in accordance with the apostolic tradition. With Deacon Andrew kneeling before him, Bishop Rhoades put aside the miter and with hands outstretched, he prayed the Prayer of Ordination.
The newly-ordained Father Budzinski was then vested by Msgr. Bernard Galic and Msgr. William Schooler, pastor of St. Pius X Church, Granger, with the stole and chasuble, signs of the priestly office, after which Bishop Rhoades anointed his palms with chrism, a consecrated and perfumed oil that symbolizes wisdom and strength.
Other deacons assisted Bishop Rhoades in receiving the gifts of the people, which were carried by Eugene Budzinski, Father Andrew’s father, Robert, his brother, and his sister-in-law Angela, with niece Victoria Budzinski. They delivered the paten and chalice to Bishop Rhoades who then handed them to the the waiting Father Budzinski.
The ordination rite then concluded with the fraternal kiss of peace, beginning with Bishop Rhoades followed by the entire presbyterate and visiting clergy who welcomed Father Budzinski into the presbyterate.
Family, friends, gather for ordination
Following the Mass of Ordination, the newly-ordained Father Budzinski met his father, brother, sister-in-law and niece for a special private family blessing in the sacristy of the cathedral. The proud and emotionally-charged family then gathered with friends at the Grand Wayne Center for a celebratory reception. Father Budzinski offered blessings and shared the joy of the celebration.
Eugene Budzkinski, Father Andrew’s dad said this of the solemn day, “One of the biggest days of my life. It was so filled with emotion. I was looking away so I wouldn’t break up, but I did anyway.” This proud father is grateful for his son’s calling and said, “It’s a great blessing. I think he’ll be a very good priest. He’s very personable and he’s going to get along with everybody.”
Father Andrew’s brother Robert was in awe of his sibling’s ordination. He said of the event, “Overwhelming. Very overwhelming.”
Of his brother’s calling, Robert said, “I think he’ll be an excellent priest, I really do. He’s well prepared, he’s got some good mentors and comes from a very good family so I think he’ll do well.”
Robert’s wife Angela had this to add, “I’m just immensely proud. He seems so happy today, I think that’s what touched all of us.” When asked what touched her most about the Mass of Ordination she said, “Probably the laying of hands by the priests. It was powerful just watching them praying in silence over him.”
Long time friend Meg Hartz, who is director of music at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend, was pleased to be cantor at Father Budzinski’s Mass of Ordination. “Andrew and I have known each other since our high school days in South Bend. We were in different schools but performed in theater events, and it was such an honor to sing for him today. We were at Notre Dame together. … I was in music and he was the leprechaun,” she said.
Second year college seminarian Thomas Zehr said of Father Budzinski, “It’s incredible to see the witness he has shown us. … It’s inspiring. He’s such a holy person.”
“Exciting,” Deacon Terrence Coonan, who will be ordained in June 2011, said, “moving for us as deacons because he was right there next to us. We’re the next ones in line to give ourselves to that priestly vocation. I can relate to Andy, he’s been such a great friend. It was almost through him that I was preparing for mine.”
Father Jason Freiburger, the vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, noted, “(Every ordination) feels like a brother joining us. It’s a beautiful moment to let him in, knowing the life he will lead. It’s difficult on me to leave St. Vincent’s, but Andy’s following me up. As the bishop said, Andy is welcoming obedience, as all us priests do. It’s beautiful and freeing, because your life is not your own. When you give yourself up to the priesthood, He will give back to you. For Father Andy, I say, be open to anything. I know he heard that in seminary, but continue to be open to God’s will and be obedient.”
Kay Cozad, Diane Freeby, Claire Ronner and Mark Weber contributed to this story.
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