Fourteen seminarians were ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Bernard F. Law yesterday in a ceremony at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End.
Of those ordained, 11 completed their studies at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, two at Pope John Seminary for Delayed Vocations in Weston and one at North American College, Rome.
The ordained from St. John’s Seminary are Rev. Michael A. Alfano, Stoughton; Rev. Robert J. Bowers, Needham; Rev. David P. Callahan, Lawrence; Rev. Robert E. Casey, Dorchester; Rev. Thomas F. Coronite, Hingham; Rev. James A. Flavin Jr., Billerica; Rev. John W. Gentleman, Lynn; Rev. William M. Kennedy, West Roxbury; Rev. Timothy MacGeorge, Holliston; Rev. Paul G. McManus, Lynn and Rev. Paul F. Russell, Alpena, Mich., and formerly of Lynn.
The two seminarians from Pope John Seminary are Rev. Richard W. Fitzgerald, Boston, and Rev. Ronald A. Gomes, Cambridge.
Rev. Robert Congdon, of Millis, is completing his studies in Rome.
June 20, 1987 was unusually hot and humid in Boston, so you can imagine what it was like to be dressed not only in black, but also to be further garbed in the vestments of priestly ordination. Nonetheless, I still remember that day with great joy and happiness — despite being told by Cardinal Law just moments before the Liturgy of Ordination was to begin that we wouldn’t be sure we had vocations to the priesthood until the moment in the Liturgy when he, the archbishop, accepted the recommendation of the seminary rector and formally called us to ordination!
The past quarter of a century has lead the 14 of us ordained that day along different paths, down different roads. Some are still active in priestly ministry, others (myself included) have felt called elsewhere. Catholic sacramental theology holds that ordination is irrevocable — once a priest, always a priest. And so while I could never have imagined then that I would be in life where I am now, I try as best as I can to bear the fruits of that special day in everything I do.
To my classmates, my brothers, my friends — you are in my thoughts and prayers this day and always. Ad multos annos!