Ordinarily, I wouldn't write about ordinations like that. But in today's political climate, it seems "right and just" to do so.
|Photo by Emma Dallman for the province|
The ordination Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Pelham Manor, N.Y., on a beautiful Saturday morning. Once again our province was honored to have one of our own SDB cardinals, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and coordinator of the Pope's council of cardinals, preside over and carry out the ordinations.
I can't tell you much about the Mass or the homily except that the church was packed, with people standing, with SDBs, FMAs, Cooperators, Don Bosco Volunteers, friends and families of the ordinands, past pupils, present pupils, and parishioners from as far away as Toronto; and I heard that the homily was exceptionally good.
Can't tell you because--as I alluded to at the end of my post on the Catholic Media Conference in Quebec, June 21-23--God had other plans for my travel from Quebec to New York. I was to take a 5:10 p.m. flight on Friday, connect in Montreal, and arrive at LaGuardia around 9:30 p.m. But the plane for that flight never made it to Quebec due to bad weather somewhere else, and the flight was cancelled. After a couple of hours involving 2 trips to the Air Canada counter and a very long phone call to their service center (Air Canada really needs a better way to handle these things!), I got a flight to Toronto around 8:30 p.m. and a 6:00 a.m. flight to LaGuardia from there. On arrival at LGA, there were no SDBs available to meet me--they were on their way to the ordinations--I had to use public transportation: bus to Manhattan, Metro North to Pelham, taxi to church; and got to the Mass as Cardinal Rodriguez was finishing the Eucharistic Prayer: "thru him, with him, and in him," etc. The pastor met me and my luggage in the church foyer, and remarked, "You're a little late."
|Frs. Chu and Dang giving out Holy Communion|
I've posted earlier about our new priests: about Frs. Paul Chu, Minh Dang, and Dieunel Victor and about Fr. Wilgintz Polynice. No need to repeat the stories of their vocations.
|Fr. Minh Dang|
|Fr. Wilgintz Polynice|
|Fr. Dieunel Victor|
Fr. Paul Chu
Fr. Paul Chu has been assigned to Don Bosco Prep High School in Ramsey, N.J., as coordinator of youth ministry. Fr. Dieunel Victor will fill the same office at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Md. Fr. Wilgintz Polynice has been assigned to the retreat team at Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw-Stony Point, N.Y. Fr. Minh Dang will take up an assignment in Egypt and work on his Arabic.
A reception dinner followed at the Surf Club in New Rochelle, N.Y. There each of the ordinati spoke brief words of gratitude to God, Mary Help of Christians, their parents and family, their confreres, and their friends.
From the reception I went to the provincial house and took a deserved nap (having gone to bed at 12:30 a.m. and gotten up at 5:00 a.m., then spent 6 hours traveling and 3+ hours working with my camera). When I went down to the dining room, there was Cardinal Oscar in casual conversation with Bro. Andy Lacombe over a modest meal. The cardinal was interested in the SIGNIS conference, so we chatted for a few minutes. He's always approachable and down-to-earth--like the good Salesian he is!
|Fr. Dieunel, Fr. Minh, Cardinal Oscar, Fr. Paul, and Fr. Wilgintz|