To ordain a new priest is one of the great joys of a Bishop. On June 5 I will have the privilege of ordaining two new priests for the Church of Dallas, Marco Polo Rangel and John Michael Szatkowski. Marco and John have spent years in preparation for and in anticipation of this occasion. I would like to reflect on what brought them to this moment.
Priests are made not born. That is not to say they are not called by God to priestly ministry. It is a question of how the call is nurtured. Grace builds upon nature. In the call to priesthood one might say that the grace of the call is built upon the nature of one’s family.
Historically our Catholic culture has been a culture that nourished vocations. Sadly, in some cases, that is no longer the case. Instead of discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit in their child and nurturing it lovingly and carefully, the Spirit is often quenched through disinterest and even discouragement.
The ordination of Marco and John will not only be an occasion of great joy to their parents, but a witness of how the Catholic culture of the Rangels and the Szatkowskis not only discerned God’s call in their sons, but nurtured the spark of priestly vocation and fanned into flame. May God bless them for their gift, not only of their sons, but for providing the foundation upon which God’s grace flourished.
As for Marco and John, they are to be commended for discerning their call in the midst of the din of our society and persevering in their pursuit of the priesthood. They have reached the end of one journey and the beginning of a new and far more challenging one. May God’s grace sustain them in their priesthood!
I ask God’s continued blessings on the ordinands and their families.