Skip to comments.14 men are ordained into the priesthood (at St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC)
Posted on 05/14/2007 11:00:12 AM PDT by NYer
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE -- It was during the chanting of the litany of saints -- 23 minutes of kneeling on the marble floor of St. Patrick's Cathedral -- when the Rev. Brendan Gormley asked God to help him and his sore knees make it through.
"That's when I realized that's what the priesthood will be," the Grant City native and former marathon runner said afterward. "I'll be relying on God's grace."
Father Gormley, 43, and the Rev. Kevin Malick, 27, formerly of New Springville, were among 14 men ordained by Cardinal Edward Egan yesterday morning.
Seven priests were ordained for the Archdiocese of New York; the other seven were ordained for the Community of the Friars of the Renewal, a Franciscan order celebrating its 20th anniversary.
"Our young men are commissioned, mandated, assigned, appointed the way St. Peter was, as a witness to proclaim the Gospel," the cardinal said during the three-hour mass and ordination ceremony.
Though still troubled by a shortage of priests, the Catholic Church saw the number of ordinations increase slightly this year, from 431 nationwide in 2006 to 475 in 2007, according to a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
The average age of the new priests is 35. The study also found that more men, about 60 percent, are entering the priesthood already having earned college degrees. Of those, 20 percent also held degrees in law, medicine or education.
The men ordained at St. Patrick's were a microcosm of that larger group. Their average age was 33. Some, like Father Gormley, an attorney, came from other careers.
For others, like Father Malick, their ordination represented the fulfillment of a long-held wish to lead a life of service.
Now the work starts.
Father Malick was assigned to St. Augustine's Church in New City, N.Y., and Father Gormley to St. Paul's in Congers, N.Y.
"I don't know where Congers is," Father Gormley said with a laugh after the ordination. Father Gormley will celebrate his first mass today at 2 p.m. at his home parish, St. Christopher's in Grant City.
Father Malick's first mass will be today at 4 p.m. at St. Rita's R.C. Church in Meiers Corners, his home parish.
A contingent of Islanders from Holy Family Church in Westerleigh and the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in West Brighton made the trip to St. Patrick's to see the Rev. Justin Cinnante ordained.
While still in seminary he had served at Holy Family, and parishioners there were hoping he might be assigned to an Island parish. But the Bronx native is returning home to serve at Holy Rosary Church in that borough.
Father Cinnante will return to Holy Family to celebrate mass at 3 p.m. on May 20.
Among the many priests on the altar yesterday were several from Staten Island, including Monsignor Peter Finn, rector of St. Joseph's Seminary; Monsignor James Dorney, vicar for the borough and pastor of St. Peter's Church in New Brighton, and the Rev. Philip Blaine, a Franciscan priest from the St. Francis Friary and Center for Spirituality on Todt Hill.
Also taking part were four Island seminarians looking forward to their ordinations: Anthony Mizzi-Gilli, Thomas Roslak, Daniel Tuite and Christopher Argano.
Terence Crowley, a 17-year-old New Dorp resident who attends a pre-seminary program as he considers the priesthood, served as an usher. He was impressed by the service but he's still keeping his options open.
Asked if it will be him lying prostrate on the altar someday, he answered: "Maybe."
THE WOMEN'S ROOM
Here's something you should know about St. Patrick's Cathedral: There is no rest room. I came up against this unfortunate fact in 2000 when I was covering the funeral for Cardinal John O'Connor. Reporters had to be in place two hours before the start so we could go through security -- President Clinton was in attendance -- and the funeral was three hours long. Without getting too graphic, let me just say it wasn't my soul, or the cardinals, I was praying for that day.
Yesterday, arriving about 15 minutes early for the ordination of two Staten Islanders, I realized with horror that I was in the same predicament. I headed to Prime Burger on 51st Street, prepared to spend any amount of money just to visit their facilities. But when I saw a long line of people -- mostly women -- heading through the restaurant and down the stairs, I joined them and found myself, happily on line for the bathroom with no purchase necessary. Behind me were two women from the Sisters of Life. And do you know what those intrepid sisters did? They comandeered the men's room!! So many things I didn't know about nuns when I was a girl in grade school!!
Maybe I'm just getting cranky, but it seemed to me that the cathedral was full of babies and toddlers, and almost all of them were crying. It's hard enough to hear Cardinal Egan's baritone voice in the bouncy acoustics of the cathedral without the whining, shrieking and wailing in the background. Also it's not so comfortable standing in the "press box" for three hours, so I am forgiving myself the uncharitable thoughts I had about some of those noisy babies near me. Or maybe I should go to confession.
SPEAKING OF KNEES
Cardinal Egan had knee replacement surgery last September, and yesterday, when it came time for the brand new priests to give him a blessing, he explained to the audience that he was merely bowing, and not kneeling, because "the piece of metal" in his knee might not know how to bend. He said he would have his knees properly trained by next year's ordination. Which leads cardinal-watchers to wonder, was that an encrypted way to say he's staying on another year, despite having turned the mandatory retirement age of 75? Stay tuned.
THE BISHOP IN THE BLACK HAT
During some of the service, the bishops in attendance wear pointy white hats called mitres. Underneath they wear a sort of chartreuse shade of yarkmulke (although I'm sure they don't call it by that Yiddish word). But one bishop was wearing some unusual black headgear that had me wondering, until Cardinal Egan explained it all. The man in the mystery hat was the bishop of the Syrian Catholic Church in the U.S. and Canada. The cardinal said the bishop's name, but I couldn't hear it; there was a baby crying.
In Latin it's a pileolus, in Italian it's a zucchetto, in English it's a skullcap.
I'm not sure where she gets the "chartreuse" from - priests can wear a black zucchetto, bishops generally wear a purple or magenta one, cardinals wear a red or scarlet one and the Pope wears a white one.
Strange she should mention the funeral; I was there four days. The first day, as I headed for the rectory to cut through the choir room (to use the bathroom first), guess what the reporters outside were asking me about? Cardinal O’Connor? No. How I felt about Rudy cheating on his wife. Uneffingbelievable. Let’s just say the answer was memorable... my friends still laugh about it making the news.
I also know the Sisters of Life... they’ll get a kick out of mention.
Oh... and the sounds of children upset her? Poor pagan.
Some catholics still have children, some even raise them in the faith and spend family time, instead of being selfish... hence vocations. Trust me, you can hear Cardinal Egan without the huge monitors and speakers throughout the cathedral. Right... noisy babies, confession... yet she doesn’t know what vestments are (chartreuse shade of yarkmulke)?
She should have written about how rushed they went through the litany... I was incensed.
You know the 7 friars ordained are my friends right? I knew them when they inquired, or as I say, helped to change their spiritual diapers.
Yes... when the cardinal made the kneel comment, I thought “well get the newly ordained chairs to stand on”... sick right?
Yep, got all my first blessings and went to the first Mass yesterday.
I’ll comment at her blog when I get back. I’ll have the sisters do the same. Kidding about the sisters.
Wow! You’re good :-) Care to post a picture?
No, I didn't know that. Two months ago, a group of seminarians from Graymoor were up here in Albany to lobby the legislators. I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with one of them. He is from England, said he would soon be ordained and would return to England later this year. I believe his name was Augustine. Small world?
Fr. Augustine Mary Conner.
Look at this vid, he’s serving at the anniversary Mass with Cardinal Egan.
**Though still troubled by a shortage of priests, the Catholic Church saw the number of ordinations increase slightly this year, from 431 nationwide in 2006 to 475 in 2007, according to a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. **
I’m surprised, nationwide, that there is only an increase of 44 priests. But adding any at all is good. Maybe next year it will be 60, and the next year, 100. (Optomistic thoughts!)
Congratulations to these men and to the communities they will be serving!
Our little diocese in VT (which has only 62 diocesean priests) will ordain 2 new priests on June 9th. I had the pleasure of getting to know one of these young men when he was in residence at my parish last summer. He is precisely the kind of man the Church needs for the priesthood.
Please pray for Dallas StPierre and John Schnobrich as the make this big step.
In addition, we have seven more men in the seminarian program. We feel very blessed to have them.
Though still troubled by a shortage of priests, the Catholic Church saw the number of ordinations increase slightly this year, from 431 nationwide in 2006 to 475 in 2007,**
An increase is an increase. We will take it.
Your post got me doing a bit of research.
The number of priests ordained since 1999 has increased about 10% year over year. If that trend can be maintained, as we pray it will, we will be ordaining over 1000 men per year by 2015.
That is nearly four times the number ordained 8 years ago.
I often wonder if the priest shortage was the hand of providence clearing out the old guard that was contaminated by scandal etc and bringing in a new generation of priests who would not be influenced by the older ones.