June 2, 2010 // Local

‘Take thou the yoke of the Lord’: John Shannon ordained a priest

The newly ordained priests stand outside of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Neb., with Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz and priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter following the ordination. Father John Shannon stands first row, far left.

By Monica Eichman

LINCOLN, Neb.— May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, descend upon you; that you may be blessed in the Priestly Order, and may offer propitiatory sacrifices for the sins and offenses of the people to Almighty God, to Whom belongs glory and honor, world without end. Amen.

These words, taken from the priestly ordination ceremony as prescribed by the Church, highlight the duty of the priest as an “Alter Christus.” Deacon John Shannon of Fort Wayne was raised to the dignity of the priesthood on May 22 at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Neb.

In the presence of 700 of the faithful, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz ordained Deacon Shannon along with five other deacons of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Nearly 50 of the Fort Wayne native’s family and friends traveled from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the joyous occasion.

Also ordained were Father John Rickert of Ellinwood, Kan.; Father Simon Harkins of Edinburgh, Scotland; Father Peter Bauknecht of Antigo, Wis.; Father Garrick Huang of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Father Rhone Lillard of San Diego, Calif.

In the ordination ceremony, the bishop anointed the hands of each ordinand and asked Almighty God to consecrate the hands. It is because the fingers of the priest will come into daily contact with the Sacred Body of Christ that the Church separates them from use in the profane through this prayer and dedicates them to God’s service.

On Pentecost Sunday, the day after ordinations, the newly ordained Father Shannon offered his First Mass at the recently consecrated Chapel of Ss. Peter and Paul at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Neb.

Father Shannon also offered a Solemn High Mass on Sunday, May 30, at St. Peter Church in Fort Wayne. Father Daniel Leeuw was the homilist. Father George Gabet, chaplain of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, served as deacon, while fraternity seminarian Greg Eichman served as subdeacon. The St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community celebrates the extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at Masses held at Sacred Heart Church in Fort Wayne and St. Patrick Church in South Bend.

Two of Father Shannon’s younger brothers, Stephen and Vahn, served at the altar, and his brother Gregory played the pipe organ for the Mass. The Mass included traditional Latin chant and sacred polyphonic music sung by the Regina Coeli Latin Choir, directed by Father Shannon’s sister, Rosemary Imrick, and included his younger sisters Regina and Ellen.

Father Shannon, 31, is the son of Ronald and Marilyn Shannon of Fort Wayne and the oldest of nine children. After graduating from Seton Home Study School in 1997, he attended Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne as a Chancellor’s Scholar, graduating with honor in 2002 and completing a master’s degree in biology in 2003. His ordination comes after seven years of preparation at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.

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