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News of great joy for the Diocese of Madison Print
Guest column
Thursday, Jun. 17, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

Guest Column

As we approach the closing of the Year for Priests, the Diocese of Madison is blessed with two deacons, Rev. Mr. David Carrano and Rev. Mr. Greg Ihm, who will be called to the Order of Presbyters.

We are also blessed with the ordinations of Rev. Mr. Jorge Antonio Miramontes and Rev. Mr. Timothy Renz to the transitional diaconate in late May.

By God's providence this coming October, at the American College of Immaculate Conception, in Leuven, Belgium, two more men, Mr. John Putzer and Mr. Chad Droessler, will be ordained transitional deacons.

Truly a year of favor from the Lord

These ordinations are news of great joy to one and to all. By the end of the year 2010, the Diocese of Madison would have ordained two new priests and four new deacons who will be ordained priests in June of 2011. This is truly a year of favor from the Lord and an invitation for us to "seize the day."

"Juravit Dominus, et non poenitebit eum: Tu es Sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech"(Psalm 110:4). This powerful statement of truth from the sacred psalms gives us an in-depth understanding on the nature of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

"The Lord has sworn an oath He will not change: You are a priest forever." David and Greg are being called to a ministry that was founded by Christ Jesus himself and entrusted to Peter and the early Apostles, which in turn is handed down to us through Apostolic succession.

Indispensability of the priesthood

In their ministry as priests, they will preach the authentic Word of God to the flock of Christ and nourish their souls with the Eucharist. Through their "anointed hands," many will be blessed and, most importantly, the Eucharist will be assured for the faithful people of God.

If the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life, one can then argue on the indispensability of the priesthood through whom this Most Holy Sacrament is made readily available to the people of God.

The Book of Hebrews tells us that "No one takes this honor upon himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was" (Hebrews 5:4). In executing their ministry, priests are reminded of their own frailty and thus approach their office with utmost humility. Priests are indeed "earthenware jars that holds the treasure" as the venerable Apostle Paul preached.

It is imperative, therefore, that priests continue to align themselves with the bishop, who has the "fullness of the priesthood" and in whose priesthood the priest shares. Always recalling the words of the psalmist, "Non nobis Domine non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam"(Not to us O Lord not us, but to your name give glory).

Our work has only begun

As we celebrate these ordinations as a diocesan family, our work has only begun. We need the commitment of more men to study for the priesthood. As the director of the Office of Vocations, I am filled with hope for the future.

If you are reading this article and enjoying the news of all these ordinations, I want you to think of how you could help get the next candidate for the priesthood. The parish priests and the family are still our best recruiters. People, who are considering religious vocations, need to hear it from the people they trust, and who better can do that than their families and parish priests.

Invite, encourage, support, and pray for these people. The best place for discernment is the seminary. One can never know if they can or cannot swim without stepping into the water. Our first intentions are the last to be achieved, so merely going to the seminary does not automatically mean getting ordained. It is only the beginning of a process of training and formation.

I invite anyone out there who may be thinking about a religious vocation to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 608-821-3088 to get more information. You can also visit our Web site at www.madisonvocations.org, where you will have the chance to see our current seminarians and get to listen to their audio recordings. Do not let fear deter you from opening the door of your heart to the Lord.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who works toward promoting vocations in their family, parishes, and work places. My unalloyed gratitude goes to the families of our deacons and seminarians for their faithfulness and love.

We commend our priests, deacons, and seminarians into the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Priests.

We wish Rev. Mr. Carrano and Rev. Mr. Ihm the very best in their priestly ministries. Ad Multos Annos!

Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze is the director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison.