Bishop Ordains Six Men to Priesthood

Six new priests were added to the ranks of the diocesan priesthood June 9 following their ordination by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. "My brother priests, it is a great day of joy for us," Bishop Loverde said. "Our number is now increasing." The bishop has ordained 17 men to the priesthood over the past three years, raising the total number of active diocesan priests to 136. Surrounded by family and friends, the Class of 2001 includes: Fathers Richard T. Carr, Frederick H. Edlefsen, Stephen F. McGraw, Edwin E. Perez, James M. Poumade and James A. Tucker. More than 100 diocesan and religious order priests concelebrated the Mass with the bishop. Unique to the service this year was the ordination of a second Carr brother to the diocesan priesthood. Father Richard Carr joins his brother, Father Matthew Carr (Class of 1999) in service to the people of Northern Virginia. Bishop Loverde described priests as "the principal co-workers" of the diocesan bishop. "This is true in every diocese, but it is especially true in this diocesan church where growth is so evident," he said. The continuing growth in the Arlington Diocese was exemplified following the ordination ceremony when the bishop announced the establishment of another parish, Holy Trinity in Gainesville. Father Francis Peffley was named administrator. Bishop Loverde told the newly ordained to "always remember the example of the Good Shepherd, Who came to serve, not to be served." The priest’s two-fold focus should be Jesus and the people of God, the bishop said. "Give the people of God a shepherd’s care. Strive for holiness and spread love. Be first and foremost in love with the Church, both in heaven and on earth." The bishop thanked the parents and families of the newly ordained for nurturing and supporting their sons’ religious vocation. "Vocations are born and nurtured in families," he said. "Pray that many more sons and daughters will enter the religious life." The growing Hispanic population in the diocese was recognized during the ordination ceremony when Antonio Perez-Alcala did the second reading in Spanish. The ordination also marked the end of an era. Joan Ensley, longtime administrative assistant at the diocesan vocation’s office, is retiring at the end of June. Deacon Keith O’Hare assisted Bishop Loverde as deacon of the word and Deacon Sam Taub was deacon of the Eucharist. Cathedral organist and music director Richard Gibala led the Cathedral Choir and Brass Ensemble.

Copyright ?2001 Arlington Catholic Herald.  All rights reserved.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2001