Ordinations to the priesthood
Saturday, June 15 + 10 a.m. + Cathedral of St. Joseph, Burlington
Popular among our ever-expanding, ever-changing English vocabulary, is the innovation of making nouns into verbs. For example, to describe the process of growing into the responsibilities of adulthood, youth will use the term “adulting.” As we approach the priestly ordinations of Deacons Kevin Chalifoux and Robert Little on June 15, it must be clearly stated that there is no such term as “priesting!”
To be ordained a priest does not center so much on what a priest does, but rather who a priest is. While it is true that there are certain things that only priests can do, specially celebrating the sacraments, those who are called to serve the Church as priests answer a call from God to be configured to Christ not only in their actions but in their very being.
Through baptism all of the faithful participate in the very life of God, but priests do so in a particular way. The Sacrament of Holy Orders confers on the priest a permanent change that can never be undone, much like baptism and confirmation. Once a man is ordained a priest, he can never be “un-ordained.” In this respect, the call from God to become a priest configures him to Christ, the High Priest, and endows him with power from God to teach, sanctify and govern in the name of Christ.
A priest is a tremendous gift to the Church — and Fathers-to-Be Chalifoux and Little will be tremendous gifts to the Church in Vermont. As they have studied, prayed, served, sacrificed and given themselves to seminary formation, on June 15 they will stand as their names are called in St. Joseph Cathedral to be presented to Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne for the conferral of the priesthood through the laying on of hands.
All the faithful are invited to come to the ordination at the cathedral on June 15 at 10 a.m. as we pray and together thank God for the gift of two new priests.
—Father Jon Schnobrich is director of vocations for the Diocese of Burlington.