Posted by Damian Roff
on 7 September 2021
Despite, level 4 COVID restrictions, Damien Locke, class of 1994, at O'Connor, received the sacraments of Holy Orders and was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church. The ordination was not open to the public due to the restrictions but was be able to be viewed online. Interestingly Bishop Kennedy who presided over the sacrament was celebrating the anniversary of his own ordination. ‘
In COVID free times in 2018, when ordaining 16 priests, Pope Francis reflected upon the importance and demands of a priestly vocation.
He urged them
“not get tired of being merciful. Think of your sins, your miseries that Jesus forgives. Be merciful.” It is “through your ministry the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect,” he noted, “because it is joined to the sacrifice of Christ, which for your hands, in the name of the whole Church, is offered bloodlessly on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.” He pointed out to the 16 men that in their priestly ministries they will be participants “in the mission of Christ, the only Master,” and advised them to read and meditate tirelessly on the Word of God “to teach what you have learned in faith, to live what you have taught.” He continued ; “[May] your teaching, joy and support to the faithful of Christ be the fragrance of your life,” he continued, “that with word and example you can build the House of God which is the Church.” and “Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to seek and save what was lost,”
We pray for Father Damien, Bishop Kennedy and for all priests in their lives that they are faithful servants in the mission of God.
Gracious and loving God, we thank your for the gift of our priests. Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments. Help our priests to be strong in their vocation. Set their souls on fire with love for your people. Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom. Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel. Allow them to experience joy in their ministry. Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.