Rockford Parish Celebrates Vocation of One of Its Own
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 24, 2021
ROCKFORD—In his homily, Father Nicholas Federspiel, once the spiritual director for Holy Family LifeTeen member Nicholas Doherty, came up with what became sort of a motto for the moment at now-Father Ignatius Pio Mariae Doherty’s Mass of Thanksgiving at his home parish on June 13.
On the bike path a year ago — when then-Brother Ignatius was dressed in his Franciscan robes and Father Federspiel in his collar — a woman who was walking the opposite direction stared and went into slow motion, he said, describing the moment she stopped and, “politely, sincerely, she said, ‘You don’t see this every day!’ 
“I think we can all agree that you don’t see this every day,” Father Federspiel said, nodding at the group of Franciscans who, along with Holy Family pastor, Father Phillip Kaim, flanked Father Ignatius Pio on either side of the presider’s chair. 
The music provided by a handful of Father Ignatius’ friends was hauntingly different from the usual parish choir, and incense abounded. It was a treat for at-first-mystified parishioners who filled the pews along with friends and family of the new priest.
Years ago, after a parish Kyrios retreat, Nick regularly attended Holy Family’s youth Mass and the LifeTeen group that met afterwards, Father Kaim explained in a parish bulletin. Involved in youth ministry and prolife work, Nick began spending time in the parish adoration chapel, eventually hearing there a call to the priesthood.
Now, as a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), this son of Holy Family parishioners Mark and Louise Doherty, has a new life and a new name. 
Graduating in 2010 from Ave Maria University in Florida, Father Ignatius joined the CFRs in New York City. He later attended St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY. 
He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Timothy Dolan on May 29 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
Following goodbyes from Father Robert Blood, pastoral vicar at Holy Family, and remarks from Father Kaim, Father Ignatius Pio came to the ambo and said, “One more.”
He thanked several people, including Father John Paul, his CFR superior, who was present, and his three friends — a Dominican, a Norbertine and a seminarian — who provided the music. 
And he thanked his parents for “loving me” and “keeping me grounded in reality.” 
He quoted his father, Mark, whose advice to all newlyweds was that “the sooner you learn it’s not about you, the happier you’ll be.”
Father Ignatius Pio applied that wisdom to himself as he speedily concluded his remarks and brought gifts to his parents. 
To his mom he gave the cloth saturated with the sweet-smelling Chrism oil that anointed his hands at his ordination. 
He gave his father the stole he used when hearing his first confession. 
Those gifts were to remind them of God’s goodness, sweetness, and His love for them, Father Ignatius Pio said.
An open house luncheon was held after the Mass.
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