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http://www.jsonline.com/features/religion/45921382.html
6 seminarians ordained as priests

A "great flock" answered a "great call" Saturday at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee.

Six seminarians, the largest class to come out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese's St. Francis de Sales Seminary in 17 years, were ordained priests before an overflow crowd of more than 1,500 who hugged, wept and shook the cathedral's colonnades with applause during the 2 1/2 -hour ceremony.

"We are so blessed by this great flock of new priests. We're seeing a new day in which parents are happy to see their sons choose to come to the priesthood," said Auxiliary Bishop William Callahan, who presided over the ordination.

Friends and family of the seminarians came from as far as Ghana and Colombia to attend the ordination, during which Angel Anaya, 37, of Milwaukee; Mark Brandl, 49, of Menomonee Falls; Aaron Esch, 26, of Elkhorn; Dan Janasik, 30, of New Berlin; Sean O'Connell, 27, of Brookfield; and Luke Strand, 28, of Dousman joined the priesthood. For many in the cathedral, the group's size made the ordination a sensation.

"This year's ordination is really significant both in the number and the quality. There were years over the last 10 or 15 years when we had one, two, none," said Father Donald Hying, rector at St. Francis de Sales Seminary, 3257 S. Lake Drive, St. Francis. "I just see a dynamism and vitality going forward in these men who are willing to lay down their lives for God."

"I have been crying for two days with excitement. There are so many ordained at once," said Bernadette Igl of Elkhorn, Strand's aunt, as she greeted friends and wiped away more tears.

For the candidates, the ordination was the end of a journey that started with what they all termed their "great call" to the priesthood.

"This lifts us all up," Esch said. "It's a sense that the renewal of the priesthood that started with Archbishop Timothy Dolan goes on. It means the church is alive and strong. God is still calling to men, and I'm grateful to God for the great call."

There was a sense of healing, too. Brandl said the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic priesthood were an obstacle that he had overcome to be a priest.

"I had to put what some people did to give the church a black eye behind me," Brandl said. "I didn't want anything to come between me and my Lord."

During his homily at the ceremony, Callahan urged Catholics to begin "rejoicing in the gift of the priesthood and celebrate its integrity."

All was silence as the seminarians prostrated themselves before the altar. But after Callahan formally presented the new priests vested in stoles and chasubles - the symbols of office - the crowd stood and gave out with applause that resounded even outside the cathedral.

The new priests have followed various paths to the vocation. Janasik worked as a public accountant, and Anaya practiced medicine as a doctor in Colombia.

"My rector in Colombia convinced me that priests can help people by being supportive and spiritual role models," Anaya said.

Brandl, the first Good Shepherd parish member to become a priest in the Menomonee Falls church's 52-year history, left the church for more than 20 years before quitting fragrance research and becoming a priest. O'Connell studied business, Strand studied marketing and human resources, and Esch studied history and philosophy.

Most of the new priests have been assigned by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as assistant pastors in area parishes, a small but much-needed reinforcement as the church struggles with an ongoing priest shortage.

There are more to come, said Hying, who has seen a steady increase in enrollment at the seminary since the early 2000s, a mirroring of a national trend. He expects St. Francis' enrollment to hit 41 by this fall, its largest in two decades, and for 40 or more priests to be ordained over the next six years.

St. Francis, founded in 1845, is the state's only diocesan seminary. At its peak, it served about 500 students in high school, college and seminary programs.

Hying sees in this latest class a "tremendous desire to serve God's people in earnestness, and to be holy without being stuffy or pietistic."

But on Saturday, this group saw even more. O'Connell said: "This day is a blessing."

~~~~~~~
It's not traditional, but I know a seminarian at St Francis now (blood relative, ftw, and he's getting ordained, ideally, in two years). 

Pray that these newly-ordained priests find the strength and grace to be orthodox in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, and they may lead their flocks well, and that the Seminary may become more orthodox/traditional.  Next year will be their *largest* enrollment in my lifetime (21).

And, to be pre-emptive....  If anyone wants to come on this thread and bash the NO, Abp. Weakland (as bad as he was...), the Seminary, or be too critical, I ask that, instead of doing so, you pray 3 Paters and 3 Aves for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and St. Francis de Sales Seminary (and the seminarians).  That will do you a heckuva lot better than criticizing any of those mentioned topics (and you know it).

Thanks!  ;-)

Edit:  6 -> Six in title.

Edit 2:  Heck, go ahead and say them prayers anyways, if you like.  ;-)
Yesterday we had seven ordained in our archdiocese, ages 26, 29, 30, 33, 36, and two at age 40. Here are four of them.

[Image: priests-2-b%2003_300x371.jpg]

This was our largest enrollment since 2004. Sorry, CC...I didn't mean to steal your thunder. Of course I'm happy for you and Milwaukee. ALL seminarians and priests are in definite need of our prayers. God bless them for heeding the call! May they remain faithful to the Lord.

Pray
(05-24-2009, 05:33 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: [ -> ]Yesterday we had seven ordained in our archdiocese, ages 26, 29, 30, 33, 36, and two at age 40. Here are four of them.

[Image: priests-2-b%2003_300x371.jpg]

This was our largest enrollment since 2004. Sorry, CC...I didn't mean to steal your thunder. Of course I'm happy for you and Milwaukee. ALL seminarians and priests are in definite need of our prayers. God bless them for heeding the call! May they remain faithful to the Lord.

Pray

Ain't no thunder but God's!  ;-)
(05-24-2009, 05:39 PM)CollegeCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-24-2009, 05:33 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: [ -> ]Yesterday we had seven ordained in our archdiocese, ages 26, 29, 30, 33, 36, and two at age 40. Here are four of them.

[Image: priests-2-b%2003_300x371.jpg]

This was our largest enrollment since 2004. Sorry, CC...I didn't mean to steal your thunder. Of course I'm happy for you and Milwaukee. ALL seminarians and priests are in definite need of our prayers. God bless them for heeding the call! May they remain faithful to the Lord.

Pray

Ain't no thunder but God's!  ;-)

We definitely need a High-Five smiley! 5^!  Smile
I know where that record is beat. One parish in South Korea had nearly TWENTY priests ordained. Smile
Nice.  Saturday I attended an ordination for 3 diocesean priests-- each in their 20's.  It was nice.  If I had to guess, only 1 of them would be trad-likely, but we'll see.  Traddy diocesean priests often have a hard time of it in the seminary.  From what I've heard, if you're a traddy priest, then you've got to keep your mouth shut until your first Mass.
We've got six deacons being ordained in Toledo on Saturday.  Four are from our diocese, and two came to the diocese after starting formation in others.


Prayers for all those involved.  This is surely one of the largest classes we've had in many years.
Pray
Great news!
No one will be able to make the obligatory snotty comment about the failure of the New Springtime. What!? How can this be!? Outrageous.
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