From the Pastor’s Desk – May 21, 2017

Everyone has special days that mark their lives, birthdays, anniversaries, the birth of children, graduations, first jobs, and eventually retirement. Along with some of those memorable moments was my ordination. On May 21, 1977 with nine other classmates, we arrived at Saint Mary Cathedral, San Francisco for our ordination to the priesthood. It is hard to believe that forty years have passed since that eventful day. Some of us began our studies at Saint Joseph Seminary in the fall of 1964, others began in the fall of 1968, others joined us at Saint Patrick Seminary in 1973 where we completed the required course of studies to earn a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Theology in 1976. Each candidate for ordination petitions the bishop in a handwritten letter in words prescribed by ceremony and ritual after recommendation by the seminary faculty.
After months of planning, sending out invitations, purchasing an alb and chasuble and stole, we arrived at the cathedral with our families and in many cases extended families for the celebration. Several aunts and uncles flew out from the Saint Louis area to join my immediate family for this great occasion. Joined by my sister and brothers, family and friends, we prepared to pray and reflect on the rite of ordination.
Ordinations generally occur on Saturday mornings engaging the help of many people to ensure a smooth and joyful celebration.
Archbishop John R. Quinn was the ordaining bishop joined by many priests from the Archdiocese of San Francisco and other dioceses. The procession into the cathedral was grand and seemed to take forever; so many priests and deacons went before us. We took our places in the assembly until we were called by name and answered “present.” We entered the sanctuary and after the Proclamation of the Gospel were presented by the seminary rector to the Archbishop. The people showed their approval by an extended period of applause. After the homily we responded to the Archbishop’s questions in the rite, prostrated face down on the floor during the
singing of the Litany of Saints and then anointed on the hands with the Sacred Oil of Chrism. We promised obedience and respect to him, received the chalice and paten, and then received the chasuble and stole from our parents who presented them to a priest to vest us. I believe Father Art Harrison vested me with the chasuble and
stole. We concelebrated the Eucharist with the Archbishop, joyfully gave communion to our families and friends and afterwards participated in a brief reception before going to homes or gatherings with friends and family.
In time each of us served in different parishes or other assignments. I went from Saint Elizabeth in Milpitas to Saint Victor, Saint Julie, and Saint Joseph of Cupertino
as an associate pastor. In 1989 I was appointed to my first pastorate with the people of Saint Cyprian parish in Sunnyvale, then to Saint John Vianney, deployment to Kosovo in 2004 and finally appointed pastor here at Saint Anthony parish in 2006. Each assignment brought new friends, new pastoral challenges and the joy of serving God’s people in the church. There were challenges along the way, but understanding and kind people, even those willing to forgive me made it all possible. It is something to reflect on – forty years of public ministry serving in the church.
Easter Blessings,
Father Larry

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