Dear Editor: The recent ordinations to the priesthood lead us to reflect on how our entire Catholic community contributes to the formation of a priest.
I was privileged to attend Father Daniel O. Kingsley’s First Mass and parish reception. His journey to the priesthood began with his strongly religious family. His late father and mother as well as his siblings nurtured his vocation. Their sacrifices enabled him to attend St. Vincent Ferrer school (its loss represents another obstacle to fostering vocations) where his teachers encouraged him to attend Cathedral Prep.
Father Kingsley, as a college student and seminarian, would often come back to the parish where he had excellent role models during his discernment in Fathers Coman Brady and Joseph Nugent. People in the parish would encourage him.
Throughout his high school, college and seminary years, Father Kingsley had other profound influences, especially Father Josephjude Gannon. The relationship between the two is a living example of the idea of positive accompaniment. He also received counsel from Father James Reynolds, a senior priest who along with Msgr. Nugent, was given the honor of vesting him.
The ordination and First Mass as well as the reception for Father Kingsley reflected the diversity and community of the Church. The reception was organized by a group of devoted parishioners working with Father Rony Mendes, our temporary administrator. They funded, cooked and served the meal.
Events like ordinations drive home the communal nature of the Church as St. Paul explains in Galatians 3:18. People of different ethnicities, the young and old were present at St. Vincent Ferrer.
I am sure similar events were repeated in the parishes of the other ordinands. The weekend of June 27-28 gave us an occasion for hope as the Church faces some difficult times.
GERALD DE MAIO