This past weekend was one for the ages. On Saturday, our former Campus Minister Andrew Nelson was ordained a priest by Bishop Libasci at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. The Mass was beautiful (although it was very hot!) and the church was standing room only (imagine one person filled an entire cathedral).
The ordination took place after Bishop Libasci's homily. Andrew prostrated himself on the ground while the congregation sang the litany of saints. This is an ancient tradition whereby the man about to be ordained asks for the prayers of God and all the saints in heaven as well as the congregation. Andrew then approached the bishop at his chair and he laid his hands on Andrew's head. That, plus the prayer that followed, constituted the ordination. Father Cecil Donohue, OSB of Saint Anselm Abbey then helped removed Father Andrew's deacon stole and placed on him the stole and vestment of a priest. Father Andrew then joined the rest of the priests and helped con-celebrate the Mass.
Father Andrew wanted an Irish themed reception so Irish music played over the loudspeakers, he made scarecrow type men with Irish themed clothing to look like an Irish band, and Mrs. Krassowski of our art department created a wonderful Irish village backdrop.
The next day Father Andrew celebrated his first Mass at Ste. Marie's Parish at 2pm. It was preceded by a breakfast at Saint Raphael's Parish whose pastor, Father Jerome Day, OSB, preached a brilliant homily at Father Andrew's first Mass. The choirs of Trinity High School and Ste. Marie's sang beautifully at the first Mass.
It was a full weekend but a wonderful celebration of Andrew and the many people he has come to know over the years. There was a cross section of people there from all aspects of his live and it was an amazing testament to the good he has done (and will do).
Ad multos annos!
all pictures copyright Michael Richards