Happy anniversary to me! It is customary to have a recognition of a 25th jubilee of ordination, but irregular to have a party for a 20th anniversary of ordination. One June 5th I will have my 20th anniversary of ordination. Since I have two priest friends who are celebrating their 25th anniversary of ordination with great fanfare, I want to use this week’s Pastor’s Corner to reflect on the day of my ordination. I suppose it is my way of being nostalgic as I watch the celebrations of my friends.
I was ordained for the Diocese of Tucson in 1999. I remember arriving at Saint Augustine’s Cathedral at about 7:30 so that I could be plenty early for the 9:00 ordination. As is customary, I asked my spiritual director to hear my confession. As I went to confession at one side of the cathedral hall, I saw my classmate also going to confession on the other side of the room. Since we would be receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders together God saw fit to allow us to receive the Sacrament of Confession together as well!
I remember the moment of my ordination with great fondness. When Bishop Manuel Moreno came forward to impose hands on us as we knelt on the cathedral sanctuary, he laid his hands me first. (As I result, I enjoy telling my classmate that I am his superior, even is only by about 20 seconds!) As a result of that gift of holy orders, an indelible mark was made on my soul and I became a priest.