SOUTH END — In a society that values self-fulfillment and personal gratification, five men pledged their lives to the service of God and of His people at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.
On May 27, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley ordained Fathers Darin Colarusso, William Palladino, Ixon Chateau, and William Ventura — all of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton and Father William Dunn of Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston as hundreds of family, friends, fellow seminarians, priests, bishops and religious witnessed the joyous event.
Cardinal O’Malley lauded the candidates during his homily.
“These candidates are witnesses of the resurrection,” he said.
Comparing the seminarians to the disciples on the road to Emmaus spoken of in the Gospel reading, the cardinal added, “On the journey of their lives, their paths have crossed with the path of Jesus who asks, ‘Where are you going?’ and like the disciples in the Gospel, they are fashioning the direction of their lives on His call.”
“Oftentimes the Lord is speaking and no one is listening. Or the ones who are listening do not know it is the Lord,” he added.
“The whole Church is indebted to you for your willingness to serve as Christ’s priests,” he declared.
Cardinal O’Malley spoke of the necessity to be witnesses of Jesus in a world which oftentimes is “alienated” from God.
“You are going to be the ones to show Jesus to the people,” he stressed, adding that people “want to see Jesus in your kindness, in your zeal, in the simplicity of your life, in your prayerfulness, in your obedience, in your purity, in your selflessness.”
“You are to be the icons of the Good Shepherd,” he told the candidates.
In order to reveal Jesus to the world, he continued, “a priest must have zeal — zeal for souls.”
“The task at times is daunting,” he admitted, noting that “your own interior life is crucial for your spiritual survival.
“The prophetic role of the priest means standing in a world that calls good, bad and bad, good and with courage and serenity announcing the good news of Jesus Christ in its entirety,” he said.
Cardinal O’Malley concluded his homily commending and consecrating the ordinands to Mary, and stressing the need for priestly fraternity.
“Every priest needs to be connected to their fellow priests and to the bishop,” he declared. “We must take time, as priests, to minister to one another so as to be better able to minister to God’s people.”
Following the homily, each candidate approached the cardinal seated at the cathedra and promised obedience to Cardinal O’Malley and his successors.
The Litany of the Saints was then sung by the choir and assembly, as the five men lay prostrate in front of the altar as a sign of humility.
The cardinal then prayed silently over the ordinandi as he laid his hands upon their heads. All the priests in the assembly were then invited to do the same.
After the priests had finished and taken their place on the altar, Cardinal O’Malley recited the Prayer of Consecration, and the candidates became priests.
As part of the ceremony, the newly ordained priests were presented with a series of significant items — each priest was vested with a stole and chasuble — the signs of the office of priesthood. Their hands were then anointed with the oil of chrism.
They were also presented with the paten and chalice — signs of the gifts of the people — as Cardinal O’Malley prayed, “Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to Him. Know what you are doing and imitate the mysteries you celebrate. Model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.”
The newly ordained then took their places behind the altar to concelebrate the Mass for the first time.
Following the ceremony, family, friends and well-wishers gathered to congratulate and receive blessings from the new priests.
The five will begin their first parish assignments in early June.
Father Chateau will serve as parochial vicar at St. Clement Parish, Somerville; Father Colarusso at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Braintree; Father Dunn at St. Mary Parish, Chelmsford; Father Palladino at St. Paul Parish, Hingham; and Father Ventura at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Chelmsford.