See also past Guest columns.

The Almighty has done great things for us Print
Guest column
Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Guest Column

On behalf of Bishop Robert C. Morlino and all our seminarians, I would like to congratulate Deacons David Johannes and Mark Miller on their upcoming ordinations to the priesthood.

The entire Diocese of Madison rejoices because the Lord has shown us great favor in calling these two men to be numbered amongst the Levites. I also want to extend our congratulations to Deacons Vince Brewer and Garrett Kau who were ordained to the transitional diaconate in May. We wish you all fruitful ministry in the Lord’s vineyard.

God works in our midst

Ordination of men to the priesthood is a good reminder to us of how God continues to work in our midst. The Holy Spirit working through the bishop, by his imposition of hands and prayer of ordination, raises these men to become in effect “Alter Christus.”

As the Venerable Apostle St. Paul writes: “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not us”(2 Cor. 4:7).

The newly ordained in effect shares in the priesthood of his bishop, who has the fullness of the priesthood in himself. This is why it will be theologically illogical to have a priest function independently of his bishop in his priestly ministry and not in communion with his bishop in whose priesthood he shares.

Our ordained priesthood is yoked in an inexplicable way to the priesthood of our bishop, who in communion with the Holy Father as successors of the Apostles exercises the fullness of the priesthood. It becomes imperative, therefore, that we the people of God must do whatever is within our power to support and encourage our priests. This moral support will help them in joyfully fulfilling the work that the good Lord has chosen them to do.

Growth in vocations

The 2012 CARA report on the priesthood ordination class shows that trends continue as in the recent past. The average age continues to get younger and the trend is moving upward in terms of numbers.

This recent report corresponds to what is happening in our own diocese. We are truly blessed with wonderful group of seminarians. As I see them grow in their vocations and zeal, I am filled with hope for the future. This future for the Diocese of Madison is bright and alive. With ordinations of two deacons, and two priests, with possible ordination this fall, we can join our Blessed Mother Mary in saying: “The Almighty has done great things for us and Holy is His name.”

Support our seminarians

This summer we have our seminarians speaking in different parishes, telling their stories and also asking people to pray and support vocations.

If you happen to have them in your parish, I would ask that you take time to get to know them. I am so proud of their faithfulness and dedication to their formation. You will be very proud of them when they get ordained and are sent to the parishes.

However, with the increase in our numbers each year, the St. Joseph Fund will need to be supported to help us meet our needs. St. Joseph Fund is a restricted fund that is set up solely for the education of seminarians. Please consider making a donation to this fund or remembering it in your will. Your contributions guarantee that the sacraments will continue to be available to the people of God in our diocese.

Finally, I urge you to continue to identify and invite faithful young men to think about the priesthood. As we have these ordinations, we need to continue to recruit quality men to maintain the flow.

So far, we have been abundantly blessed by the Lord. Let us be united with our bishop in supporting these future priests in whatever way that we can.

You can receive more information on how to support the St. Joseph Fund and other ways to support our seminarians by calling 608-821-3040 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

May the good Lord continue to bless us and grant us continued growth in faith and numbers.

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