Story by Jennifer Burke / Photos by Jeff Witherow
Two men joined the ranks of the priesthood for the Diocese of Rochester June 1, as Bishop Salvatore R. Matano ordained Father Matthew J. Walter and Father Daniel L. White during a liturgy at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Fathers Walter and White are answering God’s call during a time of unique challenges for the Catholic Church, Bishop Matano said during his homily. Despite these challenges, the role of the priest is the same at its core as it always has been: Priests are called to live among their people and share in their parishioners’ joys, sorrows, celebrations and tragedies, the bishop said.
“The mission has remained the same: to restore, to reconcile; to console and to comfort; to bless, to teach and to sanctify; to welcome those who still seek Christ, as the church’s cornerstone, and to reach out to those whose wounds need to be healed by the church,” Bishop Matano said.
In the video below, the gift of the Holy Spirit for the priestly office is conferred upon the candidates through the Laying on of Hands. Members of the diocesan presbyterate in attendance line up to lay hands on the candidates to signify their incorporation into the priesthood. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)
In the video below, the bishop presents the bread and wine to the newly ordained, pointing to the sacred duty of priests to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, uniting the Rite of Ordination with the centrality of the Most Holy Eucharist in the lives of the people of God. The bishop says, "Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered by God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord's cross. By the sign of peace, the bishop welcomes the newly ordained priests as co-workers in ministry. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)
He celebrated his first Mass June 2 at St. Patrick Church in Owego, where he will remain for his first assignment, as parochial vicar of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes.
“That will certainly be a humbling experience. I think it will be good for the parish to have someone from there, who they’ve been praying for all along,” Father White said.
“It was a nice opportunity to say thank you to all the deacons who had been praying for me for so long,” Deacon Schott said, adding that another special memory was engaging in prayer and conversation with his fellow soon-to-be-deacons in the moments just prior to the Mass.
For Deacon Martuscello, a personal highlight occurred as the liturgy began — “processing in, seeing my family and all the people who have supported me all these past years,” he said.
In the video below, the newly ordained are vested by chosen clerics in their stoles and dalmatics. Then Bishop Matano presents each ordinand with the Book of The Gospels. At the conclusion of the ordination rites, the bishop extends to the newly ordained the greeting of peace. The deacons in attendance do likewise, welcoming the newly ordained into the Order of Deacons. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)
“This is nothing I accomplished. It’s all God; it’s a gift from God,” he said shortly after the Mass ended, as well-wishers gathered around him and the other new deacons near the cathedral’s altar.
“God is so good,” Deacon Goodman agreed.
Deacon Schott added that he felt overwhelmed by his ordination and all that went with it.
“I have every (positive) emotion, all of them,” he remarked.