Archbishop: Newly-ordained priests called to discern, serve

| May 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

From left, newly-ordained Fathers Andrew Zipp, Seraphim Wirth, Joseph Gifford, Joseph Connelly and Louis Floeder stand in the sanctuary at the end of their ordination Mass May 25 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

Urging them to discern God’s will and serve others, Archbishop Bernard Hebda ordained five men to the priesthood May 25 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul.

“As a good Jesuit, Pope Francis calls for the Church to be a Church of discernment. A listening Church,” the archbishop said in his homily.

“These five men soon to be ordained have devoted their lives to discernment,” he said.

They must continue that work, in prayerful contemplation, humble assessment of their lives and activities, attentiveness to their brothers and sisters, particularly those in need, and commitment to seeking God’s will, he said.

Called by Christ to priestly service, they will never be alone, Archbishop Hebda assured them. The faithful of the Church, their families and friends, religious brothers and sisters and brother priests will be among those supporting them, even as Christ calls them to serve their flocks and dare to walk with them to the foot of the cross, he said.

“May the cross of Christ be your strength, as you respond to that call,” the archbishop said.

Ordained were Fathers Joseph Connelly, Louis Floeder, Joseph Gifford and Andrew Zipp, all of whom will serve the archdiocese, and Franciscan Brother of Peace Father Seraphim Wirth, whose religious order serves in the Twin Cities, including the poor, victims of torture from around the world and the Karen community. Father Wirth is the first man to be ordained a priest in that order.

More than 2,000 people filled the cathedral for the ordination, which included readings and hymns in the Karen language.

Archbishop Hebda laid hands on the head of each elect, the effective sign of the permanent conferral of the priestly office, and all the priests laid hands as well, signifying the candidates’ incorporation into the presbyterate.

Father Louis Floeder gives a blessing to his mother, Chany, following the ordination Mass. DAVE HRBACEK. | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

Fathers Gifford and Wirth said the laying on of hands was a particularly moving experience for them.

“The sense of brotherhood and fraternity from that was wonderful,” Father Gifford said.

Father Wirth said he felt part of something much bigger than himself. After the ordination, he felt “at peace,” Father Wirth said. “Profound peace.”

After the ordination, the newly-ordained conferred their priestly blessings on people who requested. Those lining up included parents, siblings and friends.

Father Floeder’s mother, Chany, tearfully described her feelings shortly after receiving the blessing from her son, and watching him as he assumes his priestly responsibilities.

“I am just amazed and honored and blessed by the good Lord,” she said. “We have 10 kids, and whenever I was pregnant I dedicated my kids to the Lord. And it’s so nice to see the Lord taking him.”

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