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Three men ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

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May 25, 2011

Photos by E.L. Hubbard

ARCHDIOCESE — Hundreds gathered at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains May 21 for a Mass during which Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr ordained three men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.


Clergy from throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati process into the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains May 21 for the ordination Mass.

The archbishop ordained Father Daniel Hess from Holy Trinity Parish in Coldwater; Father Adam Puntel from Incarnation Parish in Centerville; and Father Charles Wright from St. Peter in Huber Heights and St. Christopher in Vandalia. A standing-room only congregation of family members, friends and well-wishers filled the cathedral for the occasion.


In his homily Archbishop Schnurr said the applause for the candidates from those gathered is “a sign of your readiness to stand with and behind them as they embark upon what is clearly the single most significant step of their lives. Because of its weightiness, it is not a moment at which we arrive without due preparation and serious consideration. Today’s celebration comes as a result of much hard work, deep discernment over the years and fervent prayer. Today’s ordination has been the work of the church as she has weighed the candidates’ call to the priesthood. Now the church is prepared to move joyfully ahead and welcome these men into the ranks of the sacred priesthood. Because your call has been taken so seriously, my sons, enter into this celebration with calm and joyful consideration.”


The archbishop went on to thank all who fostered and nurtured the men’s vocations and prepared them for the priesthood, including their families, fellow seminarians and the faculty and staff at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.


“A vocation is God’s doing, but the family provides the fertile soil that allows the seed to germinate and flourish,” he said.


“You have responded to your vocational call to the priesthood not because you trust in yourself and your own gifts,” Archbishop Schnurr told the candidates. “On the contrary, you responded precisely because of your deep conviction that the Lord who called you will also give you the strength to be faithful in carrying out His ministry.”


The three newly ordained priests preceded Bishop-elect Joseph Binzer and Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr departing the cathedral following Mass.

He also reminded the candidates that the sacredness of the priestly ministry rests on the fact that the community is not their flock, but God’s, and God entrusted His flock into their care with the words, “Feed my sheep.”


“The obvious conclusion is that God’s flock deserves the very best. My sons, let the plea of the Lord on behalf of His flock ever remain in your heart,” Archbishop Schnurr said. “The entire church of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati prays that you may exercise priesthood willingly, eagerly and that you may ever be an example or model for the flock to follow. For to serve the faithful in such a way is to model the Lord Jesus who came not be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. To so serve is to give witness to the love and sufferings of Christ.”


“In your ministry, you are called to love as Jesus loved, to love every human being with God’s love, always and everywhere. This is the gift given, the gift that will enable you to truly image the Lord Jesus and allow others to see something of the ‘very face of God.’ The Holy Spirit is the gift of love, divine love, love so powerful that it transforms the human frailty of the Galilean fisherman into the courageous preachers of the Gospel. Your vocational call is to become one with the Lord in the sincere and generous gift of yourself so that others might have life and have it more abundantly.”


After the homily, Archbishop Schnurr questioned the candidates about their intentions to serve the people of God and perform their ministry as ordained priests. The candidates then renewed their promises of obedience and respect to the archbishop and his successors. They prostrated themselves while all sang the ancient litany asking the saints to pray for God’s blessing upon the men. This was followed by the laying-on of hands and prayer of ordination and the conferral of the sacrament of Holy Orders.




Pre-ordination adjustments, as Father Dan Hess assists Father Adam Puntel. Deacon Max Schellman goes over details of the ordination Mass with the men to be ordained.
Archbishop Schnurr anoints the hands of Father Adam Puntel, with assistance from Deacon Michael Roemmele of the Diocese of Toledo, at left. Father Earl Fernandes prays over Father Dan Hess; Father Peter St. George prays over Father Adam Puntel; and Father Lawrence Mierenfeld prays over Father Charles Wright.
Archbishop Schnurr questions the candidate about their intentions to serve the people of God. The new priests’ mothers, Constance Wright, Carol Hess and Adele Puntel, took part in the offertory procession at the ordination Mass.
The newly ordained participate in the consecration with Archbishop Schnurr and Bishop-elect Binzer. Newly ordained Father Hess blesses Mollie and Jack Wilkowski as their father, Todd, looks on.
Archbishop Schnurr confers ordination upon Father Charles Wright. Deacon Marc Soellner is at right. Father Wright offers a blessing following his ordination.


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