By John Nelson, Vocations Candidate
Saturday May 16, 2015
As I reflect on the weekend of the Dominican ordinations to the Priesthood, there was perhaps one moment that stood out among many others in significance to myself. When the ordination ceremony was coming to its conclusion, Bishop Robert Hermann opined during the Concluding Rites that this ceremony reminded him of the Book of Revelations. He also hoped that when we all go before the judgment seat that it would be similar to what the ceremony was like. When pondering His Graces’ remarks, one could easily be overtaken by the sense of sacred permeating all the physical senses in due reverence to this solemn event. It appeared from the outset that every detail was meticulously planned, and executed. The selection of St. Pius V Catholic Church nearby the Priory provided a spectacular confluence of stained glass, statues, paintings, and architecture. One of many profitable examples was a mosaic above the altar that appeared to be a visual representation of Revelations 4:9-11, which reads:
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 11 “Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created.” 
Along the lines of the Bishop’s remarks, was the use of incense referenced three times in Revelations as the prayers of the saints. The Liturgy of The Eucharist is heaped full of further examples whether it is Lamb of God, Alleluia, Sanctus, and possibly others.
Amid the ceremony, another profound moment was the laying of hands by the Bishop on the two conferees, Fathers Raymond Bryce and James Dominic Rooney. Prior to which with images of the saints that had gone before them emblazoned in the artwork, the statue of The Pieta in the background, the conferees laid prostrate before the Eucharist, altar, and Bishop. As if all of creation could ordain, so too were the prayers of the congregation to aid in the journey. The choir consisting of the brothers, every one of which are in residence contemplating their future ordinations, along with several other singers from the greater Dominican community. Collectively they chanted in common the hymn, “Veni Sancte Spiritus,” further raising awareness to all present for the call of the Holy Spirit to manifest spiritually the gift of consecration.
Upon the moment that the Bishop lifted his hands from the newly ordained priests, a host of Dominican Priests numbering as many as forty approached the two in a procession. These particular priests came out of the woodwork from all the areas of the province, and descended upon the area in front of the altar to offer their blessings and supplications. With the Priests flanking each side of the alter, the Bishop anointed the conferees’ hands with oil consecrating them forever as Priests under Holy Obedience to The Church, and the local ordinary of whichever diocese they will be tasked to make manifest the mission of the order.
It was a humbling honor to have been invited, and able to participate as a layperson in such a profound mass. As a convert to the Catholic Faith, this is the first of such celebrations that I have ever attended. A memory that I will take with me is that of a spiritually healthy, reverent, and doctrinally sound band of Friars. As a community they responded to the call of Christ, and together provided a faithful account of The Gospel.
In closing, I would like to share one story about the ordination of St. Pachomius to the Priesthood preserved in the Church from late antiquity. St. Pachomius would later become the Abbot of his monastery, and was known for mystical qualities. The recounting of events is from The Fathers of The Desert by German Countess Hahn-Hahn:
When Athanasius the Great, the Patriarch of Alexandria, visited the monastery of Tabenna, Pachomius hid himself amongst the monks and strictly forbade any of them to name him. But this was of no avail, for the saint recognized the saint. Pachomius feared that the great bishop would perhaps wish to ordain him priest, which he strove against with all his might, feeling himself unworthy in the sight of God. The saints became holy because they measured their virtue by what was above them, by the example of Jesus, and never by what was below them, the infirmity of their neighbor.
May our two newly ordained priests be granted many years, be known for their virtue, and pursuit for The Truth of Christ. May Saints Pachomius and Athanasius intercede on their behalf as well as the Dominican Central Provence of St. Albert the Great.
John Edward Nelson
 Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition (Re 4:9–11). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
 Rev 5:8, 8:3-4
 Rev 19:19
 Rev 19 (The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate. (2009). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.)
 Rev 4:8
 Hahn-Hahn, I., & Dalgairns, J. B. (1907). The Fathers of the Desert & 2. (E. F. Bowden, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 197). London: Burns and Oates.