Two new priests ordained in Roxbury Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
Newly-orained priests, Fr. James Joseph Kotch, SJS, left, and Fr. William Enrique González, SJS, right, members of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, stand with Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison following their Ordination Mass on December 8 at St. Norbert Church in Roxbury. To view or purchase photos, go to (Catholic Herald photos/Kevin Wondrash)

ROXBURY -- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2016, took on a special meaning for two men, as they were ordained to the priesthood.

The Ordination Mass for Frs. James Joseph Kotch and William Enrique González took place at St. Norbert Church in Roxbury.

The two priests are members of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest.

Priests from the Society serve parishes in the Diocese of Madison in Fennimore, Platteville, and Sauk City as well as Roxbury.

A ‘great privilege’

Following the Gospel, read by Fr. Faustino Ruiz, SJS, pastor of St. Mary Parish and St. Augustine University Parish in Platteville, the two men were presented to Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison as candidates for the priesthood.

In his homily, Bishop Morlino said, “It’s a great gift, great privilege to be ordained on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.”

He added, “The Immaculate Conception means that we celebrate truth in the mystery that Mary was, is, and always will be full of grace” -- conceived without Original Sin.

“It’s a beautiful day on which to be ordained because you will bring the message of the freedom and the holiness of Mary in their perfection to all of our people.”

Bishop Morlino continued, “We can never forget how close the priest is to Mary . . . Devotion to our Blessed Mother is not optional for a priest.”

The bishop called Mary’s saying yes to be the mother of Jesus as the “the most beautiful free act in all of human history,” in which Jesus would become man on earth and later would give himself to death.

“Jesus calls you to identify with him,” Bishop Morlino told the two new priests as they sat in the pews with the families. “When you identify with Jesus, you, in a special way, also become a very special son to Mary.”

Ordination Rites

Following the homily, the two men participated in the Promise of the Elect.

They each declared their intention to undertake the office of priesthood and their obedience to the bishop and his successors.

While the Litany of Supplication was sung and prayed by the congregation, the two men lay prostrate, allowing themselves to be “changed” by the Holy Spirit, in anticipation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Following that part of the ceremony, the ordinandi each approached the bishop for the Laying on of Hands as he placed his hands over them in a blessing.

Several concelebrating priests from the Diocese of Madison, including those in the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, also filed past them to lay their hands upon them.

Then, the new priests were vested with their stole and chasuble.

The bishop then anointed the hands of the new priests with Sacred Chrism.

Their hands were then wrapped in the maniturgia -- a linen cloth used after the anointing. Traditionally this cloth is given afterwards to the priest’s mother.

The bishop, followed by the concelebrating priests, all gave their new brothers a sign of peace.

Mass continues

As Mass continued, the gifts were brought up to the altar by family members of the ordained.

During the Eucharistic Prayer, the new priests joined the bishop in saying the prayers at the altar.

They also served as the distributors of Holy Communion.

Following Communion, Fathers González and Kotch each gave their first blessings to Bishop Morlino as he knelt before them.

The two new priests then went out from the sanctuary to bless their parents, seated in the front pews.

In the parish bulletin, the weekend following the Ordination Mass, the parish wished the priests well, saying, “May God bless you and guide you as you begin the next step on your spiritual journey.”

There was also thanks to “everyone that helped make Ordination here at St. Norbert’s such a moving and special occasion. All your hard work was greatly appreciated.”

The new priests

Father González is a native of Ecuador and has been studying in both Spain and the United States on his path to the priesthood. He completed his theology studies at the Theological Institute of San Fulgencio of Murcia, Spain.

Father Kotch, a native of New Jersey, also has studied in Spain and the United States and also finished his theology studies at the Theological Institute of San Fulgencio of Murcia, Spain.

The two men were ordained to the transitional diaconate in July at St. Aloysius Church in Sauk City.

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