Deacons John Putzer, left, and Chad Droessler stand before Bishop Robert C. Morlino as they are called forth to be ordained to the priesthood on December 10. (Catholic Herald photo/Kat Wagner) To see more photos of the ordination, click here.
MADISON -- “This is God’s Christmas gift to the Diocese of Madison that we’re celebrating tonight,” said Bishop Robert C. Morlino as he welcomed people to the ordination Mass for Deacons Chad Michael Droessler and John David Putzer.
St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison was the site of the Mass on Friday, Dec. 10. Bishop Morlino presided; concelebrants included Bishop William H. Bullock, bishop emeritus, and over 65 priests of the Diocese of Madison and guest priests.
Bishop Morlino gave thanks especially to the parents of the ordinandi: Jane and Greg Droessler from Cuba City and Mary and David Putzer from Oskhosh. He said that the gift God gives is their gift, too.
Bishop Morlino promised those attending the ordination that “the Lord will do marvelous, miraculous things right here tonight.”
One of those marvelous things, the bishop said later in his homily (see Bishop Morlino's column), was the fact that Deacons Droessler and Putzer — as they are ordained — would become “another Christ.”
Explained Bishop Morlino, “Ordination to become ‘another Christ’ is very real. It’s not that we simply treat you as if you were another Christ, you are another Christ. And that is the incredible, miraculous power conferred in this sacrament tonight.”
Solemnity and power
All aspects of the Mass revealed the solemnity and power of the ordination rite. Incense rose frequently, symbolizing prayers rising to God. Latin was used in songs, prayers, and parts of the liturgy.
Bishop Morlino also noted that some of the parts of the Mass would be taken from the new English translation of the Roman Missal, which will go into effect in the Catholic Church in the United States on the first Sunday of Advent of 2011.
As the bishop called forth the two men to be ordained, he said, “Relying on the help of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose these, our brothers, for the Order of the Priesthood.” Both came forward to the sanctuary saying, “Present.”
Msgr. Ross Shecterle, rector of the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain, Belgium, testified that the two men “have been found worthy” of being ordained to the priesthood.
Moments of joy
Although the ordination was a solemn occasion, there were also moments of joy. One of these happened after the election of the candidates, when the bishops, priests, and congregation applauded the two men with enthusiasm and plenty of smiles.
After the applause, Bishop Morlino said he also wanted to applaud Monsignor Shecterle for providing a “marvelous, first class formation” for the two men.
Unfortunately the American seminary in Belgium will be closed at the end of the current school year. “On behalf of all of us and the Church in the United States, I want to thank Monsignor Shecterle for the great work there.”
Those gathered again applauded.
Passing on the tradition
One of the most moving parts of the rite is the laying on of hands by the bishop, followed by laying on of hands by all the priests present. It reinforces the tradition of ordination dating back to Jesus and the first Apostles.
Likewise, the bishop and the other priests offer a sign of peace to the newly ordained. This included hugs and handshakes from many of the priests as they welcomed the two new priests into the order of the presbyterate (priesthood).
The newly ordained were then vested in their priestly garments: Canon John Pintabone from New York vested Father Droessler and Fr. Eric Nielsen, pastor of St. Paul’s University Catholic Center in Madison, vested Father Putzer.
Another touching moment in the Mass was a blessing for their parents given after Communion by both of the new priests.
Fathers Droessler and Putzer also blessed Bishop Morlino and Bishop Bullock, and each bishop kissed their hands.
Bishop Morlino gave a special thanks to Msgr. Mike Burke and Fr. David Carrano and all the members of St. Maria Goretti Parish for their hospitality.
He also commended the choir and musicians for their enhancement of the beauty of the Mass. Music ministers included the Madison Diocesan Choir with Patrick Gorman as director and Glenn Schuster as organist and Evangelicum from St. Paul University Catholic Center, directed by James Carrano. Michele Gillett was cantor. Musicians were Mary Wilcosz, flute; Lauren and Michelle Zelinski, violins, and Rob Rohlfing, Caitlin McKown, and Enan Zelinski, trumpet.
Other liturgical ministers included Deacons Timothy J. Renz and Jorge Miramontes; emcee, Msgr. James R. Bartylla; readers and psalmist, Brandon Halvorsen, Laura Haraldson, and Garret Kau; servers, diocesan seminarians and cathedral servers; honor guard, Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Knights of Columbus.