5/31/12 | 772 views
New Priests are Reason to Celebrate, Cardinal Says at Ordination Mass
Cardinal Dolan ordained two priests May 19 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: one for the Archdiocese of New York and the other for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
The newly ordained, Father Patric Francis D’Arcy, 33, of Galt, Ontario, Canada, and Father John Paul Antoine Ouellette, C.F.R., 43, of Reno, Nev., are both graduates of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie.
“Let us rejoice and be glad, for the gift and mystery of the priesthood, for the generous and faithful priests of the Archdiocese of New York and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal—now fortified with the addition of Patric and John Paul,” the cardinal said in his homily.
The cardinal reminded the two ordinands that they are so personally and passionately loved by God that, through the rite, God reconfigures them to his Son Jesus “at the very core of your being so that you can, in the very person of Jesus Christ, love the Church, his bride—now your bride—as a spouse, as a shepherd, as a father…
“The Church needs you, Patric and John Paul.”
In the ordination rite, the candidates were called forward by the rector of the seminary where they had received their priestly formation.
Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, then asked Cardinal Dolan to ordain the men to the responsibility of the priesthood and testified to their worthiness.
Cardinal Dolan then chose the men for the Order of the Priesthood, at which time all present conveyed their assent through applause.
During a riveting Litany of Supplication, the ordinands lay prostrate on the cathedral floor as the congregation, led by the choir, prayed the litany of the saints.
A highlight of the ordination for Father Ouellette happened during the procession, when he caught sight of his family. “I had a hard time even seeing my way to go up the steps for the ordination,” he said of the heartfelt moment.
A profound feeling of gratitude also pervaded Father D’Arcy. “I’m very thankful to God for everything,” Father D’Arcy said after the Mass.
The consecration prayer was the highlight of the ordination rite for him, he added.
That night, Father Oullette planned to pray “for the souls that have gone before us, asking their prayers to intercede for those I am ministering to so there is a back-and-forth, working with the whole Church.”
Those souls include his deceased mother, to whom Father Ouellette credits the start of his call to the priesthood. That journey began in 1991, after he, at age 22, viewed his mother’s deceased body just hours after her death.
Father D’Arcy’s ordination day fulfilled a childhood dream. He said he knew as a boy— as early as age 4 or 5 —that he wanted to be a priest when he grew up.
But in his youth, he “played priest” just once in awhile, he said.
That confirmed what his mother, Maureen D’Arcy, shared about her son after the Mass. “It was a serious thing—he wouldn’t [typically] ‘play’ priest.”
His seriousness was also apparent when he studied to prepare for the sacrament of confirmation as a teen. A concerned Patric confided in his mother that he did not think he was learning all that he should be to properly prepare for the sacrament. So he asked some religious sisters to tutor him on top of the confirmation classes he was taking.
Father D’Arcy acknowledges the crucial role his parents played in his priestly formation, in particular the great respect they have always shown for the Church and for priests.
Frank and Maureen D’Arcy met as fifth-graders at St. Patrick’s School in Galt, Ontario, Canada. They married in St. Patrick’s Church there and raised four children. Although they could not know it then, their third child and second son whom they named Patric would one day be ordained a priest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.
“Here we are, 55 years later, in this cathedral in New York City and our son is being ordained,” Frank D’Arcy said. “From that meeting [at St. Patrick’s School in Canada]…this was all in God’s plan.”
As a child, Patric felt at home in the church pews. “He would go to church at least three times on Sunday,” said his sister, Robyn Ipen Van Zeilen, 37. After accompanying his immediate family to Mass, Patric tagged along with his grandparents.
To be a priest, Father D’Arcy said, “is to serve the people of God to bring them closer to Christ.”
Father D’Arcy has been assigned as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Angels in the Bronx. “I’m going there to love them.” And of them, he asks solely for “their prayers.”
Father Ouellette has been assigned as a vocation director for the Renewal Friars and will reside at St. Joseph’s Friary in Manhattan.
Father Ouellette said his actions, not words, will best serve those who come to him for help. “They have to come to know that the Father loves them and knows them and has a plan for them, and desires that more than they desire it for themselves.”
After the rite, the newly ordained priests bestowed blessings upon family and friends at side altars on opposite ends of the cathedral.
The distance between the blessing stations afforded recipients ample room to navigate the lengthy lines that included droves of well wishers who had happened into the cathedral for a quick prayer or a tour, then wound their way to the two priests after learning an ordination rite had occurred.
Father Ouellette said that by comforting people through the bestowing of blessings, he already felt God at work through him.
After receiving a blessing from his uncle, Father D’Arcy’s 4-year-old nephew Jack described his uncle as “fun”—uncle and nephew have laced up their skates and played ice hockey together countless times—and “smart”— uncle continually teaches nephew all about Jesus—and not just through picture books.
“I’m very proud of you,” Jack said.
Father Ouellette celebrated his first Mass May 20 at St. Adalbert Church in the Bronx.
Father D’Arcy celebrated his first Mass May 20 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Manhattan.
Father D’Arcy’s Mass also marked a significant first for his 7-year-old niece, Abigail Ipen Van Zeilen. He administered to her the sacrament of first Communion.
“He was the one who taught me how to take my first baby step in hockey,” Abigail added of her uncle.
“I hope he is happy with what he became and that he lives that way,” she said of her uncle becoming a priest.
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