My faithful St. Genevieve parishioners, today as you know we as a presbyterate would have gathered together at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul to celebrate for the first time with Archbishop Perez the Institution of the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist and the Grace that has enabled all of us, Fr Lyons, Fr. Janicki, Fr Bongard, all our priests and I to be a part of that sacred priesthood.
While I concelebrated our Chrism Mass this week online with Archbishop Perez, I was saddened by the inability to be with my brother priests in an always-packed Cathedral, renewing by ordination promises and celebrating the special gift of the priesthood and giving thanks for His calling me to share in that gift later in life.
We are (were) together on this Holy Thursday in prayer, and with all of you, in celebrating private Mass.
I humbly thank you for praying for me and all our priests, both here in our great Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and throughout the nation and the world. I have added a Prayer for Priests at the end of this message. I ask you to pray especially for all our priests who live alone and all our retired (and infirmed) priests at Villa St. Joseph and Regina Coeli, and the dedicated staff caring for them.
As we share in your sadness during this difficult time, we also are preparing to welcome six new priests and classes of new Transitional and Permanent Deacons.
In the words of Msgr Dan Sullivan, our Vicar for Clergy, “Though their ordinations have been postponed from the usual May date, new dates have been set with the hope that we will be able to celebrate these ordinations as what they truly are, gifts to the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”
The plan, as of today, is to celebrate the Diaconate Ordinations, both Transitional (to the priesthood next year) and Permanent, on June 13 at the Cathedral. The following week, June 20 is the anticipated new date for Ordinations to the Priesthood. Please pray that all this is able to happen.
As I celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper privately in church, please know you are all greatly missed and remembered in my daily Masses. Today, especially, on our feast day, I thank God for the privilege of being one of his priests in service to all of you.
Let us all be at the Cross on Good Friday together, and before the Empty Tomb on Easter Sunday, praying in Trust and Hope in the Risen Lord.