Every June, the Diocese of Brooklyn is blessed with ordinations to the priesthood. This past weekend, it welcomed four new priests — Chin Nguyen, Elvin Torres, Robinson Olivares, and Hung Sy Tran — into the diocese.
These men will now embark on their priestly ministries for years to come. Above all, they will tend to their parishioners’ spiritual growth on a daily basis. The ordinations lend an opportunity for the laity to let their priests know that they are loved and that they are appreciated for their good works.
Be sure to personally welcome the new priest who is assigned to your parish. Try to make him feel welcome in your parish community and in the neighborhood.
Sometimes the ordination classes are large, sometimes they are smaller, but, because of God’s providential care for us, there have always been priestly ordinations in our diocese.
This is not always the case in some other dioceses in the country. There are some dioceses that have not had an ordination to the priesthood in several years.
Our diocesan priests serve in parishes, (sometimes as pastors and parochial vicars of several churches) schools, hospitals, seminaries, as missionaries, in the U.S. Military as chaplains, at the Vatican Curia, in the U.S. seminary in Rome, and even in the National Shrine and the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.
They vary in age, nationality, and ethnicity, but are united in their vocation — they share in the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ and are all committed to the service of God’s people.
These wonderful priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn are joined in the pastoral care of God’s people by fantastic priests of so many religious orders: Vincentians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, and many others. We are blessed by the presence of the members of religious orders in our diocese.
In addition, some of our priests have come from other lands to minister for a period of time in the Diocese of Brooklyn. These international priests are likewise a blessing to our Diocese and its people.
Another event occurs every year for our priests and parishes, usually in June — the transfer of assignments for our priests. It is difficult to say goodbye to our priests.
They are with us Sunday after Sunday, weekday after weekday, for the celebration of holy Mass in our parishes.
They baptize our children, forgive our sins in the sacrament of penance, instruct us in catechesis, witness our weddings, anoint our sick, and bury our deceased.
They comfort us, challenge us, and, in general, become part of our communities and families. Yes, it is difficult for a parish to lose a priest due to a pastoral transfer.
It is also difficult for the priest who is leaving the parish. He has invested his very life into the good work of his parish and, after some years in serving this particular community, he has been asked, out of obedience to the Bishop and for the good of the People of God to take on a new assignment.
During these days, please pray for priests who will be transferred and who will be beginning a new pastoral work. God bless our priests.