There were joyous celebrations in Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny as Rev Stephen Gorman was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Raphoe by Bishop Philip Boyce.
The Cathedral of Sts Eunan and Columba was filled with family and friends of the new priest for the two hour ceremony. Also in attendance were over 50 priests from the diocese and further afield who concelebrated the Mass.
Bishop Boyce in his homily stressed that a priest is a gift from God to his people: “Something happens that is not of our making. It goes beyond all that is humanly possible. We receive a gift from God. It is true that a response has been given by a generous heart, but it is from on high that the call came. The choice had to be first made by our Saviour: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15: 16). We are not the makers of today’s grace: we are simply the recipients. Therefore, we do not boast; we simply give thanks to Christ, the High Priest of our salvation.” Both St Peter and St Paul were keenly aware that their calling and the grace to remain faithful was not their own work but Christ’s gift.
The Bishop asked Fr. Gorman always to be a zealous apostle in the exercise of his ministry as a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe. St. Peter and St. Paul, the great Apostles of the early Church, will be his special models, inspiring examples of apostolic service. “Like them, you will be a spiritual father in Christ for all those who are entrusted to you or who, in any way, receive your priestly care. You will administer the grace of the Sacraments; you will open up to many the merciful love and forgiveness of God; you will be near your people leading them to share in God’s life; you will instruct and catechise the young; teach them the truths and values of the Gospel; intercede for all and ward off the attacks of the evil one.”
Finally, Bishop Boyce asked Fr. Gorman to be aware of the grace he communicated through his blessing. “The blessing you will give as a priest will be a source of grace for many souls. Indeed, after this Ordination ceremony, it will be one of the first priestly actions you will perform, as many people will come and kneel down before you and receive with reverence and faith your first blessing.”
On Monday, 30th June, the newly-ordained Priest will celebrate his First Holy Mass in his home parish of Aughaninshin (Church of the Irish Martyrs, Letterkenny) and on Tuesday, 1st July, in the Cathedral, Letterkenny, and afterwards give his first blessing to all present.
29 June 2014