On Saturday, December 17th at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Gaylord, MI, Bishop Bernard Hebda ordained Fr. Joe Ortega to the Holy Priesthood.
Even though I was not able to be there in person, I was able to pray for Fr. Joe and all those gathered at the Cathedral at the same time that the Mass was happening in Michigan. Every ordination is a joyous event, but especially when the one being ordained is a friend and diocesan brother. Every ordination is an act of renewal for the whole Church as she continues on her pilgrim journey.
What a beautiful time for an ordination too! How appropriate it is that a man is called forth and ordained a priest in this time of preparation for the Lord's coming. A priest, who is able to speak by the grace of God in the very person of Christ in order to consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, is a cooperator in the Advent of Our Lord. Is not every Mass an advent of Jesus, who is made present for us so that our whole being may be nourished? What a blessing for Fr. Ortega to be able to celebrate the Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ for the first time as a priest so soon after his ordination.
Best wishes to Fr. Ortega and to the rest of the seminarians of the diocese of Gaylord. May God continue to bestow his blessings upon us during the rest of our discernment.
(Photos courtesy John Smith)