New Priests Forever!

Father Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P. before his first Mass of Thanksgiving.

Father Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P. before his first Mass of Thanksgiving.

On Saturday, June 23rd, we had the great blessing of sharing in the First Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by newly ordained Father Thomas Aquinas Pickett, O.P. of the Western Dominican Province.  The homilist was Father Anselm Ramelow, O.P. and there were many friends and family in attendance.  The Mass, a votive mass in honor of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, began at 1:30 p.m. and was followed by blessings given by Father Thomas Aquinas and a reception in our parlor, with a cake specially made for the occasion by our novitiate sisters.

This was the first Mass of Thanksgiving offered in our chapel by our newly ordained brothers.  The following day, Sunday June 24th, we were truly blessed to have newly ordained Father Henry Stephan, O.P. of the Eastern Dominican Province celebrate Mass and give us his blessing. 

Then, Thursday, June 28th, we were joined by newly ordained Father Brad Elliot, O.P. of the Western Dominican Province, who offered a Mass of Thanksgiving and gave us each a blessing.  We eagerly look forward to the rest of our newly ordained brothers offering Masses of Thanksgiving throughout the next couple months, as their schedules permit.

The Order of Preachers is unique among religious orders in that the different Dominican members – friars, nuns, apostolic sisters, and laity – are bound together by mission and fraternal communion.  Our mission is the salvation of souls; one means is our preaching, which is not simply teaching the precepts of the faith.  It is a preaching of reconciliation with God and one another, a partaking in the ministry of the word and sacrament, which is a priestly office.  As nuns, through our life of praise, prayer and penance, we are called to exemplify this reconciliation and support the active preaching and sacramental ministry of our friars and the rest of the Dominican family. 

On the day of their vows, and for our clerical brothers, their ordination, we continue our day of work and prayer, but with an eye on the clock as we pray and consider…”Ah, the Mass is beginning…right about now the liturgy of the Word will end…now, they are a priest…”  And our hearts fill once again with joy and gratitude to God, and we commune with our Lady and savor the taste of what she must have experienced in her relationships with the apostles and the ever-growing Church.

We are given a great gift to be able to communicate our thoughts and feelings into words.  But there are some things that run so deeply, so profoundly, that even words fail and so they must be said with silence, the speech of God.  Te Deum laudámus!