Diocese Welcomes Newest Priest
Ordination 2020
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 11, 2020
DIOCESE—Like so many things this year, ordination was different than ever before. Due to the ongoing concern over the coronavirus attendance at the June 6 celebration was restricted. 
Absent too were others to be ordained to the transitional diaconate which usually takes place with the ordination of priests. That ordination ceremony was postponed to a separate date to allow for more attendees, this day.
Every person entering the Cathedral of St. Peter for the 11 a.m. ordination of Rev. Mr. Jack Reichardt was checked in, provided with a mask if they didn’t already have one and asked to sanitize their hands.
Each person was escorted to assigned seating by a trained volunteer. All present maintained social distance between family groups.
Brother priests attending wore simple vestments rather than those normally reserved for diocesan celebrations. 
Physical contact for the fraternal kiss of peace during the ordination rite was replaced with a reverent bow. Hand sanitation was frequent amid the various parts of the rite. First blessings by the new priest were conferred at a distance without the benefit of touch. And face masks hid the expressions of happiness and for some, absorbed tears of joy.
However none of those differences totally overshadowed the Mass to be celebrated. 
Bishop David Malloy, after greeting those present and viewing online, acknowledged the challenge of the ongoing pandemic and racial tension created anew by the “deadly policing incident in Minneapolis regarding George Floyd, the deep anger of the African American community and others, the subsequent peaceful protests and at times the looting and rioting that has shaken our nation.” 
In the midst of all those concerns of the day, Bishop David Malloy opened his homily by reminding all present of the truth and tradition of our faith saying, “We come together this morning for something that has changed the world for 2,000 years and for the eternal future. We gather for an act that participates in the union of heaven and earth. We come to witness our brother Jack receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, being ordained to the sacred priesthood.”
In the tradition of the Catholic faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands by Bishop Malloy, Jack Thomas Reichardt was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockford. And even though the crowd in the cathedral was sparse, thousands viewed the blessed occasion through livestream on YouTube and Facebook.
The world was invited to tune in to watch Father Reichardt as he was called forward and declared worthy by diocesan director of vocations, Father Kyle Manno, and then received words of welcome and instruction from his bishop during the homily.
Bishop Malloy reminded the new priest that his ordination was preceeded by saying yes to the Lord many times.
“Each of those answers of yes, each of those acts of self-giving for the priesthood was a combination of your free will and the grace of God. Those actions, made in purity of heart are a reminder and an encouragement to your brother seminarians who are here present. 
“But more than you know, they are a reminder to your brother priests that our own yes at each of those moments must continue, day after day, year after year. Our priesthood is a constant response of yes to the faith, to the Church, and to Christ Himself. And therefore, in a healthy, positive but sacrificial way, it is to say no to self, in order to make more room for Christ.”
Bishop Malloy said that even though Father Reichardt had chosen the priesthood he should remember that he was chosen by God. 
“That is not a prize or a reward. It is a gift. Christ has called you to be a priest. And however brief or even reserved is our ceremony today, it can never capture the eternity of the call, and therefore also the grace, that has been given to you,” Bishop Malloy said.
After the homily, Bishop Malloy heard his promises, prayed the litany of the saints and laid hands on him. Father John Evans helped Father Reichardt vest in the clothes of a priest and the ordinand was then anointed with holy Chrism as he knelt before Bishop Malloy. 
Bishop Malloy then placed in the newly ordained priest’s hands the chalice and paten. (See box on page 1), then offered the fraternal kiss of peace to Father Reichardt.
As the lively recessional played, Father Reichardt processed out with Bishop Malloy to pose for his first formal photo and receive his new assignment. Guests were ushered out individually to greet the new priest outdoors then proceed to their vehicles. 
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