Saturday, May 21, 2011
"Make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise."- Ordination Weekend Wrapup
This weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Ordination Masses for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and celebrate with five of the most influential and holiest men that I know, who were ordained to the priesthood. Fathers Christopher Klusman, Kevin Barnekow, Kevin McManaman, Javier Guativa and Hugo Londono I offer my congratulations to you and pray that your priestly ministry is one filled with joy, excitement, and ever increasing love and zeal for God and his continued mission for you all.
Even after ordination, it seemed that the celebration was just beginning. Only a few hours after being ordained, Father Kevin McManaman celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving; his first Mass as a priest. It was such a joy to see him in his beautiful vestments, standing along with his fellow brother priests and celebrating his first Mass in his home parish, Nativity of The Lord Church. Father Kevin frequently helped with the Summer Camps and the Remnant Basketball Camp that my brothers and I attended. He was always so welcoming, so easy to talk to and always seemed ready to serve. It was such an honor to be able to journey with him through each year of the seminary leading up to now and I am so grateful for his friendship. May God continue to bless you as you are now His holy priest, and may he help you to love and serve His people with the same readiness to serve and enthusiasm that you so often showed during our times together.
Sunday was also a special day as Father Christopher Leonard Klusman celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving at our home parish St. Matthias. Before the Mass at 11 o'clock in the morning, Father Christopher held a breakfast at a banquet hall filled with over 350 guests and my family was invited. It was a great honor and privilege to be able to eat with him, pray with him and celebrate with him, this beautiful day in his life. Father Christopher's Mass of Thanksgiving had to be one of the most beautiful Masses I have ever attended. Everything from the music, to the prayers and liturgy, the meeting new people and seeing old friends was absolutely fantastic and I felt blessed beyond words to be a part of it.
Although Father Christopher has many special qualities, one of them that really stands out is hard of hearing. Father Christopher has been deaf from birth but it certainly has not hindered his being able and willing to serve and love others. He always seems to have a big bright smile on his face and that has become his trademark. Father Christopher is one of only five priests who are deaf in the nation. We have a deaf community in our Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a large part of it at my parish St. Matthias. Father Christopher will be working with the Archdiocesan Deaf Community along with St. Romans Catholic Parish in Milwaukee. Please pray for Father Christopher and all those recently ordained that they may serve God to the very best of their abilities as his Holy priests and be filled with the joy and happiness of Christ as they become like Him for the rest of the world. Know of my prayers for all of you!