Family and friends welcome 8 new priests

| May 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Father John Powers and his mother, Marge, hug after the son gave his mother his first blessing as a priest.

Father John Powers and his mother, Marge, hug after the son gave his mother his first blessing as a priest.

Just after the ordination to the priesthood of their son, John, Deacon Michael Powers had to dab at the tears that crept into his eyes as his wife, Marge, talked about being the mother of one of the newest priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

“I’ve been praying for him since before he was born that he would go where God called him,” Marge Powers said as she waited to receive the first blessing of the new Father John Powers, an ordination day tradition, inside the Cathedral of St. Paul.

“John’s special everyday,” she added, “but this day is really special. I’m happy knowing that this is where God has called him.”

Ordained May 30 with Father Powers were Fathers Jake Anderson, Byron Hagan, Peter Hughes, T.J. McKenzie, Bruno Nwachukwu, James Stiles and Alvaro Perez Silva. All but Father Perez were ordained for the archdiocese; Father Perez is a member of Pro Ecclesia Sancta, which serves at St. Mark in St. Paul.

Clementina Obinwa captured on her iPad the colorful scene as brightly glad family and friends — many wearing traditional African garb — crowded around newly ordained Father Nwachukwu, a native of Nigeria.

Obinwa, a family friend from St. Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center, recalled that the new priest learned much about the priesthood from watching his uncle who was a priest.

“I hope he’s going to be as good a priest as his uncle,” Obinwa said.

Terry and Dianne Foley made a 300-mile trip from Williamsburg, Iowa, to join the celebration for Father T.J. McKenzie.

The Foleys got to know Father McKenzie and several other Minnesota seminarians through their son, Scott, who is a seminarian studying now in Rome.

“We’ve got a bond with each of these guys,” Terry Foley said.

The couple is sure Father McKenzie will make a fine priest.

“T.J. has a calming spirit,”  Terry Foley said, and Dianne Foley added, “He’s astute. He prepares. There’s great depth in him.”

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Category: Ordinations