Welcome New Priests, Deacons
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 6, 2024
ROCKFORD—A joyful celebration on a rainy day welcomed a full house of family members, friends and other well-wishers at the Cathedral of St. Peter as two men were ordained to the priesthood — Grant Colborn and Jeffrey Filipski — and two to the transitional diaconate — Ryan Nooraee and Ian Ordoñez.
 
Before the ordination rite, Bishop David Malloy in his homily noted various groups including priests and permanent deacons, calling them “an important sign of the unity of the Church.” He noted five by name who came representing Mundelein Seminary attended by the four men and extended a “special acknowledgement” to family members, commending them for “your love, your transmission of the faith, your model of God’s goodness, justice and love have been some of the first seeds of the vocation
 that has come to fruition today.”
 
Special Honor
 
Deacons and priests often choose certain priests to vest them to honor their role in their discernment.
 
New deacon Ryan Nooraee was curious to find out who baptized him into the Catholic faith.
 
Upon investigation, he found that then-Deacon Randy Fronek (far right) had baptized him so Nooraee decided to honor Father Fronek and the priesthood in general, and the service they provide by having Father Fronek vest him as a transitional deacon during ordination June 1.
The bishop’s gratitude extended also to the four men before him, noting “You have put in a lot of work to arrive at this day” including “a lot of extra years of study filled with classes designed to give you the knowledge and background of so many areas of faith, the Church and human nature as God has created us.”
 
All that, he added, “is in service to something else.  Something greater … you are entering into a reality of grace and of the struggle for salvation that confronts the whole world and every person.”
 
Bishop Malloy spoke of discernment that “seeks Jesus’s own will in a way that is deep and profound and goes beyond any mere personal desire or conclusion.” He quoted Pope St. John Paul who called ordinations “a day of great joy at the new life to the Church called by Christ,” calling that joy, and accompanying trepidation, as belonging to those being ordained “as they stood before the great gift but also the tremendous spiritual challenges that awaited them.”
 
The bishop noted the “confidence in the Lord and profound hope for your coming ministry,” of all those gathered at the Cathedral. 
 
“Christ loves His Church,” he added. “Jesus loves His sacred ministers as He loved the first ones he called 2,000 years ago.  Brothers, we go forward in confidence trusting the words of Jesus, ‘It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.’”
 
To the two becoming new priests, Bishop Malloy said, “You are the instrument that renews the eternal sacrifice, joining once more the body and blood of Jesus on the altar to the body and blood of the one sacrifice of the cross,” noting also their service in the sacrament of confession in giving “the healing and forgiving touch of Christ in the remission of their sins.”
 
Outlining the Biblical account of the first deacons, the bishop told the two who were becoming deacons, “As deacons, you are called to become men of the Word of God. You not only will read the Gospel at Mass. You will also have a special role in proclaiming and explaining the Word of God and the teaching of the Church that flows from it … you become today sanctifiers as ministers of the liturgy … Ordained in this year of Eucharistic revival of faith, root yourselves even more deeply in the Eucharist and the ministerial reverence that Christ’s body and blood warrant …  
 
“And of course, by the nature of the diaconate, your ordination makes you ministers of charity … the service of charity also seeks to bring and maintain in harmony and unity the people of God in every way.”
 
As always, Bishop Malloy asked everyone present or watching the livestream, to “be rooted in your own love for the Church and her ministers” and to “pray continually for these men in the coming years.” 
 
He concluded, “Ask God to protect them, being with them as He is with all of us, to the end of the ages.”
 
At the lunch following the ordination Mass, as each of the four men entered the gymnasium applause erupted as the faithful, families and friends welcomed their newest priests and transitional deacons.
 
 
 

 

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