‘The world needs priests, because the world needs Christ’

Deacons Nathan Rueb, Andrew Kleine, Kendall Ketterlin and Emmanuel Garduño lie prostrate before the altar during the Litany of the Saints on their priestly ordination day May 25. (Megan Marley/Key photo)

Megan Marley

While most of America was out celebrating the kickoff of the summer season on Memorial Day weekend, the several hundred persons filling almost every seat in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City May 25 had another reason to celebrate.

Four transitional deacons—Emmanuel Garduño, Kendall Ketterlin, Andrew Kleine and Nathan Rueb—were being ordained to the priesthood.

Following the Liturgy of the Word in English and Spanish, the candidates for the priesthood were called forward to respond to ritual questions about their intent to fulfill the office of the priesthood.

Being satisfied with their answers, Bishop Johnston responded: “Relying on the help of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose our brothers for the Order of the Priesthood!”

In his homily, Bishop Johnston pointed out St. Paul’s advice to the priests in Ephesus from Acts 20 to the men about to be ordained.

“There are three things he says in order: first tend to yourselves, be sure to take care of your own soul first. As the old saying goes, you can’t give what you don’t have. Pray always, strive for inward conversion for yourself, look out for your brother priests too,” the bishop said.

Bishop Johnston imposes hands upon Deacon Ketterlin at his priestly ordination on May 25 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

“Second, take care of the portion of the flock that has been entrusted to you. From this day forward, you will be called ‘father’—you have been made spiritual fathers, to reveal and bring the love and mercy of the heavenly Father whose children you are trying to aid along the narrow way.”

“Third, St. Paul tells us why the priest’s work is so important,” Bishop Johnston said. “We care for the Church of God, His bride.”

Tying in the Gospel from John 15, Bishop warned those to be ordained that ‘because you do not belong to the world, the world hates you’.

“This past week, in the June issue of the Atlantic magazine, the cover story was entitled ‘Abolish the Priesthood’. You men will be seen as nonsensical, and even dangerous, in this disbelieving world. You are a sign of contradiction, because you belong to Christ and being configured to him as a priest, you stand to the world for a radical love that has its origins beyond this world and points the human heart to beyond this world. You also stand as a visible sign of the Catholic Church, the presence of God’s kingdom on this earth. The priesthood is a life quite like no other.”

He asked those present to keep the commemorative ordination cards they received from the newly ordained in a place where they would see it and remember to pray for priests.

“’When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest; because where there is no priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no sacrifice there is no religion’ (St. John Vianney).”

“The world needs priests, because the world needs Christ,” Bishop Johnston concluded.

Following the homily, the deacons promised their obedience to the bishop and his successors. All the candidates then lay prostrate before the altar while the Litany of the Saints was sung, and a prayer said asking the Holy Spirit to be poured upon them. The men then came forward one by one and knelt before the bishop as he laid hands upon their heads, and all priests present then laid hands upon the newly ordained in ‘a common spirit and similar duty’ according to apostolic tradition. Bishop Johnston then prayed the prayer of ordination over the men.

After ordination, the new priests were aided in vesting with their stoles and chasubles, their hands anointed with chrism, and presented with bread and wine to offer the Holy Eucharist. The bishop and all priests present then gave the kiss of peace to the ordained, giving brief hugs and well wishes for the new priests, before Mass continued as usual with all the priests concelebrating.

The newly ordained priests will be serving as parochial vicars in area parishes. Fr. Garduño is assigned to St. Thomas More parish in Kansas City; Fr. Ketterlin will be at Holy Cross and Our Lady of Peace parishes (with residence at St. Anthony’s parish) in Kansas City beginning in August, following a Spanish language immersion course; Fr. Kleine will be at St. Therese Parish, North in Kansas City, with additional duties as vocation promoter for the diocesan Priestly Vocations office; and Fr. Rueb will be at St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Gladstone, with chaplaincy at St. Pius X High School.

Deacons Emmanuel Garduño, Kendall Ketterlin, Andrew Kleine and Nathan Rueb sit before the bishop as he speaks to them in his homily. (Megan Marley/Key photos)

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Wednesday
November 13, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph