MADISON -- Incense. Trumpets. A procession of priests and bishops. Knights of Columbus in their colorful regalia. Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in their black and white garb.
All these elements added to the solemnity of the ordination Mass celebrated on Friday, June 25, at St. Maria Goretti Church.
Signs of great joy
But while it was a very serious occasion marked by reverence and tradition, the Mass and ordination rite were also filled with signs of great joy as Deacons David A. Carrano and Gregory S. Ihm were ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Madison.
That joy was evident on the faces of the two men being ordained, on the faces of their parents, on the faces of other priests present for the Mass who embraced them warmly, and especially on the face of Bishop Robert C. Morlino, who called the newly ordained priests his "sons" and beamed like a proud papa.
"What an unbelievable gift to call Greg and David my sons," said the bishop in his homily. "I want to thank your parents and families. You've given the best you have to the Church because you love Jesus Christ."
At the beginning of the Mass, Bishop Morlino expressed his joy at the ordination. "How we all rejoice in the miraculous action of the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful evening it is when two fine priests, well respected in the world, are consecrated and missioned."
Bishop Morlino expressed appreciation to Bishop William H. Bullock, bishop emeritus, and Bishop George O. Wirz, retired auxiliary bishop, for their participation in the Mass. He also thanked Msgr. Mike Burke, pastor, and Fr. David Greenfield, parochial vicar, of St. Maria Goretti Parish, for their hospitality.
Bishop Morlino said he was grateful for the large number of his brother priests attending the Mass. "Our presbyterate grows tonight," he reminded them. "Don't take the great gift of the priesthood for granted."
He gave special recognition to Msgr. Ross A. Shecterle, rector of the American College of the Immaculate Conception, Louvain, Belgium; Msgr. John Dewane, faculty member of the North American College in Rome; and Fr. Andrew Beerman, rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn.
Bishop Morlino thanked the Knights of Columbus, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, and Dr. Patrick Gorman and the Diocesan Choir.
He also asked the current diocesan seminarians to stand up and they received a round of applause. "Know how desperately we need you," the bishop told the seminarians.
Bishop Morlino gave special thanks to Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze, diocesan vocation director. The bishop mentioned that the diocese has applications from five potential new seminarians, which is "good news" for the diocese.
Click here for Bishop Robert C. Morlino's ordination Mass homily.
Click here for more photos of ordination.