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Two men ordained priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ARCHDIOCESE — Hundreds gathered at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains on May 23 for a Mass at which Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr ordained two men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
The archbishop ordained Father Robert Muhlenkamp, 28, from Holy Trinity Parish in Coldwater, and Father Timothy Ralston, 31, from St. George Parish in Georgetown and St. Michael Parish in Mt. Orab.

A standing-room-only congregation of family members, friends and well-wishers filled the cathedral.

Archbishop Schnurr
Following ordination, Archbishop Schnurr welcomes Father Ralston to the priesthood. (CT/Mark Bowen)

“Do we not marvel at the fact that today, in our hearing, the Scriptures are being fulfilled?” Archbishop Schnurr asked in his homily. “Our Lord speaks in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you.’ And then, in the Gospel of John we hear, ‘Holy Father…as you sent me into the world, so I send them into the world.’ Finally, in the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul reminds the presbyters that it is the Holy Spirit who appoints the overseers of the flocks. Today, our spirits soar as we witness this sacred passage being fulfilled in our midst.”
The archbishop also made note of the “tremendous sense of joy and accomplishment that colors the celebration of the sacrament of Holy Orders. We feel it today; we rejoice in it,” he said. “Certainly, we recognize the years invested, the demands made and the stages celebrated along the way. And yet, we know there is more. As we celebrate the Rite of Ordination to the priesthood today, we are conscious of the fact that our brothers, Rob and Tim, have heard God’s call in their lives and they have remained faithful to the call even before entering seminary.”
Addressing the two candidates, Archbishop Schnurr said, “I know that you would be the first to agree that this day, on which we celebrate fidelity to the call of Christ, belongs to the entire church in southwest Ohio. Families and parishes, schoolchildren and your brother seminarians and the priests, whom you now call brothers, welcomed, adopted and supported you. They are the prayers and voices that faithfully kept those words of Christ alive in you. As they rejoice with you today and offer prayerful congratulations, let them know of your gratitude, especially the members of your own family.”
“On behalf of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, I thank the Muhlenkamp and Ralston families,” the archbishop added. “While it is God who gives the vocations, the family plays a primary role in nurturing, fostering and sustaining that vocation.”
He urged the two men to “always be amazed by the dignity of the vocation to which you have been called. Always be humbled by the realization that one does not take this honor on his own initiative. It comes in response to God’s call and through the appointment of the Holy Spirit.”
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 prayer, asking the saints to pray for God’s blessing upon the men. This was followed by the laying-on of hands and the prayer of ordination.
Archbishop Schnurr made a change to the Rite of Ordination: Rather than the candidates being presented for ordination in front of the cathedra to the left of the sanctuary, they came forward in front of the altar so those in attendance could better witness the conferral of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Concelebrating the Mass were Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, retired Archbishop of Cincinnati; Father Edward Smith, seminary rector; Father Kyle Schnippel, archdiocesan director of vocations; and priest faculty from the seminary.

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