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Seven priests ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

By Eileen Connelly, OSU

ARCHDIOCESE — The abundant blessings of a sunny spring day set the scene May 23 when seven men were ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.

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The newly ordained joined Archbishops PIlarczyk and Schnurr for the consecration at the altar of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

Watch video from the ordination here.

The archbishop ordained Father Martin Bachman, 33, from St. Jude Parish in Bridgetown; Father David Endres, 29, from Sacred Heart Parish in Fairfield; Father Robert Hadden, 30, from St. Mary Parish in Greenville; Father Shawn Landenwitch, 26, from Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Cincinnati; Father Matthew Lee, 40, from St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Russells Point; Father Barry Stechschulte, 44, from St. Augustine Parish in Minster; and Father Anthony Tozzi, 29, from St. Gabriel Parish in Glendale.

A standing-room only crowd of family members, friends and well-wishers filled the cathedral for the joyous occasion.

Three other men will be ordained for the Diocese of Toledo on May 30. All prepared for the priesthood at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.

Concelebrating the Mass were Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr; Father Edward Smith, seminary rector; Father Kyle Schnippel, archdiocesan director of vocations; and priest faculty from the seminary.

“This year we have an abundant harvest of priestly ordinations,” Archbishop Pilarczyk said during his homily. “It’s been a while since we have ordained seven candidates. We have invested a lot of time and care and money in these men, and today we see it coming to fruition.”

“One might ask, of course, ‘What are we going to get back from the investment we have made?’” the archbishop continued. “What can we expect from these seven new priests in whom we have invested so much?”

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After the archbishop prays over each ordinand, the concelebrating priests do the same. This ancient sign has been used throughout the church for the conferral of ministry. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

The archbishop told those gathered that it is appropriate to expect proper professionalism from the newly ordained priests — to have the expectation that they will be “available to the people they are sent to serve, that they will be understanding and compassionate, that they will be punctual, that they will be respectful of the gifts and charisms of those with whom they serve God’s people, that they will be pleasant in their dealings with their people, that they will be in regular contact with the Lord in prayer.”

There is also a deeper level of professional expertise that we can look for from the ministry of the priests, the archbishop added.

“For one thing, they will be agents of the holiness of God, instruments of the salvation that God has promised to His people. In their celebration of the sacraments of the church, they will make present the power and sanctity of the Lord.”

The newly ordained will also be teachers and leaders in the community of the church, Archbishop Pilarczyk noted.

“In their preaching and in their contact with the faithful, they will announce the good news of the Lord. They will the lead the people to a deeper understanding of the teaching of the church. It will not be their doctrine that they proclaim, but the doctrine of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Just as God’s people can right expect certain qualities in their priests, the priests also have the right to look for certain qualities in the people they serve, the archbishop added. They have the right to look for kindness, respect and a degree of patience and understanding from those they serve.

“Priests are not perfect,” Archbishop Pilarczyk said. “They are not theological whiz kids. Priests make mistakes sometimes, and the atmosphere of the community is healthier if people are willing to acknowledge that reality and move forward together in spite of the limitations of their pastors.”

“Most of all, priests have the right to look for cooperation from the people they serve,” the archbishop said. “No priest can do single handedly everything that needs to be done to carry out the mission of the church on the local scene. We all need help.”

In conclusion, Archbishop Pilarczyk called ordination an occasion on which it was appropriate to give thanks. “We give thanks to the Lord for this fine harvest of well-equipped and well-trained priests that He is sending to our local church,” the archbishop said. “We give thanks for the people of God whose prayers and support brought these candidates to this point and whose cooperation will make their ministry ever more fruitful. Most of all, we give thanks to the Lord for His generosity and care for His people.”

As Archbishop Pilarczyk entered the priests’ sanctuary following the Mass, the newly ordained and other clergy greeted him with a round of applause in anticipation that this might be the last ordination ceremony he presides at before his retirement. The archbishop will celebrate his 75th birthday in August, at which time bishops are required to submit their resignation to the Vatican.

A reception followed in the cathedral undercroft, giving those in attendance the opportunity to greet and congratulate the men and their families.

For a list of where the new priests will be serving, see the clergy appointments posted here.

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