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​Four new priests to celebrate the sacraments and serve God’s people

May 14, 2020 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: In the Press, Vocations, Breaking News

Four new priests to celebrate the sacraments and serve God’s people

During a time of darkness that pervades the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, the archdiocese experienced points of light in late March with the austere but beautiful ordination Masses of four new priests by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS.

Those ordained were Blayne Riley on March 6, Matthew De Leon on March 27, Ian Robbins on March 28, and Ricardo Ramirez on March 30. All four liturgies took place at San Fernando Cathedral, following the guidelines of fewer than 10 people at each celebration, meaning that less than a handful of family members were able to attend the sacred service. However, tens of thousands of viewers were connected with the men through the live broadcasts on Catholic Television of San Antonio, as well as livestreaming through archdiocesan social media channels.

Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette was the homilist at each Mass, a different representative from Assumption Seminary was also present for each ordination, and for the first reading at the liturgies, a woman religious proclaimed the Word at three of the gatherings.

Each of these blessed happenings were, of course, similar in nature, but with some adaptations due to social distancing guidelines in these times. At the promise of the elect the elect for the priesthood rose and stood before the archbishop who questioned him. The elect went up near Archbishop Gustavo, knelt before him, promising obedience.

The elect then lay prostrate during the litany of supplication prior to the laying on of hands and prayer of ordination. After standing, the elect again knelt before the archbishop. He placed his hands in silence upon the elect’s head. Then, the priest representative from Assumption Seminary placed his hands in silence on the elect. With the elect kneeling before him, Archbishop Gustavo pronounced the prayer of ordination to the priesthood.

The newly ordained then stood and received the stole and chasuble. Afterwards, the archbishop anointed with holy chrism the palms of the newly ordained as they knelt before him.

At these ordinations, the master of ceremonies instead of the archbishop placed the paten and chalice in the hands of the newly ordained as he knelt before the archbishop.

Lastly, the archbishop gave the newly ordained a gesture of peace. At some point in the future large scale celebrations will be held for each of the four new priests, as circumstances allow. All four also concelebrated with Archbishop Gustavo at televised daily liturgies the week following their ordination, and each preached the homily at those Masses.

Quotes from the newly ordained

Father Blayne Riley: “My vocation story is one of a long road beginning with my conversion to Catholicism. It was during my time altar serving that someone first asked if I had thought of becoming a priest. Since that time, and reflecting back, I have seen Our Lady, Mother of Priests, watching over me and guiding me to where I am today.”

Father Matthew De Leon: “A calling to serve the Lord and people of God was nurtured in my life by my family, my home parish of St. John the Evangelist, and the many examples of Christ in the rural community of Hondo, where I grew up. Music and the stories of the lives of the saints were also the catalysts by which I found myself in the call and service of Jesus.”

Father Ian Robbins: “My vocation was inspired by those priests who met with me and talked with me in a personal way. I look forward to serving others the best way I can and giving my all to them.”

Father Ricardo Ramirez: “I first felt the call to priesthood in my early childhood. The faith of my family and the encouragement of my parish community, formed me to respond with courage when prompted to answer God’s call to follow Him.”