Fathers Michael Sheehan FPO, Eric Bennett, Eric Cadin, Felipe Gonzalez, Adrian Milik and John Healey are pictured with Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, auxiliary bishops and designated concelebrants following their ordination June 23, 2012 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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SOUTH BOSTON -- Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley ordained six men to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on June 23.
Family, friends and well-wishers filled nearly all 1,735 seats at the cathedral, as the cardinal celebrated the Rite of Ordination to the Order of Presbyter for Fathers Eric M. Bennett, 31; Eric F. Cadin, 31; Felipe de Jesus Gonzalez, 34; John J. Healey, 62; Adrian A. Milik, 30; and Michael F. Sheehan FPO, 31.
In his homily, the cardinal thanked those close to the new priests for helping lay the foundation for priesthood in each of the men's lives.
"I want to express my congratulations and thanks to the families and friends of these men, who have helped them in their journey towards the priesthood, supporting them by their prayers and good works so that this day would at last come in their lives and the life of the Church," the cardinal said.
The cardinal contrasted celebrating ordination with the worldly challenges a bishop faces daily in difficult decisions, skirmishes with the press, dealing with financial disasters and other crises.
"But there are also great joys, like celebrating ordination, an ordination that allows Jesus' pastoral love to touch more and more lives," he said.
In a departure from recent tradition, rather than being seated in front of the altar, the cardinal conducted the ordination rite from the bishop's chair, called the cathedra, which symbolizes his apostolic teaching authority.