By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — “Please God, priesthood.”
Bishop Robert W. Finn laid it on the line bluntly when he welcomed six seminarians into formal candidacy for Holy Orders.
Bishop Finn at an intimate Mass June 30 in the Catholic Center’s Chapel of Ephesus also reminded the seminarians and their family of the solemnity of the call they are answering.
“Jesus calls you and you follow,” he said.
“At the beginning of his public ministry, our Lord’s first word to his disciples is ‘Come — Come follow me,’” Bishop Finn said.
“The last word he speaks to them at the Ascension is ‘Go — Go into the whole world,’” he said.
“If we are to go out, we must first come to Jesus,” Bishop Finn said. “We must find our meaning and purpose in him. We must learn to pray and put all our trust in him. Only then will we be ready to go.”
The six candidates have years of intense study, preparation and prayer ahead of them, but Bishop Finn expressed his confidence in them, as he thanked their families for the gifts of their sons.
“If they persevere, they will undertake more steps toward priesthood: the ministries of Lector and Acolyte, ordination to the diaconate, and then, please God, priesthood,” Bishop Finn said.
“Pray for them, They are good men,” he said.
“Some of them have grown up in the local community. Some have come to us as missionaries from afar,” the bishop said.
“They come in obedience to Jesus Christ and out of love for him and for his people in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. They are — each individually and together as a group — a true sign of hope for the church.”
Bishop Finn also reminded the seminarians and their families that God will be with them.
“We humbly but confidently ask that the love and grace of God will be poured out upon them,” he said.
“I thank their parents and families, their pastors and teachers, their friends and associates for their generous encouragement as our six candidates take this next important step,” the bishop said.
“I commend them also to our Mother Mary, to St. Joseph, and all their saintly patrons,” Bishop Finn said. “Keep them on a safe path. Protect the seed of God’s word within them.”