Monday, April 20, 2009

Newly ordained men have inspiring backgrounds

Just got a note from an editor praising two releases we sent out to highlight the ordination Class of 2009. The annual ordination releases can be tedious because they involve gathering data (Cara’s Sister Mary Bendyna, RSM, and Mary Gautier, over at Georgetown University, do the heavy lifting on this project, but here at the USCCB we try to add as much other info from local dioceses as possible). Catholic press editors like the stories because they tell good news, that hundreds of men, young and older (25-65) are answering a unique call to serve. The releases are inspiring too. Matthew Schiffelbein, 29, of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, is legally blind because of macular degeneration. His sharp memory, video magnifier and text-to-speech software, will facilitate his ministry.

Men who came to the United States as Vietnamese refugees also touch my heart. I remember thinking when the Vietnamese boat people reached our shores in the late 70s and 80s that this boded well for the USA. People who could survive that trek clearly had much to offer our nation. We in the church benefit now as men like the Diocese of Austin’s Justin Minh Nguyen, a skilled tailor form Vietnam, are ordained for the priesthood. You can read more about the new ordination class on the USCCB Web site here and here.

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