Grew Up Catholic in Gwinnett County, GA. Went to Catholic High School (St. Pius X ‘03) o Excursus: (When asking student to tuck in shirt, fix tie, etc.) Fr. Briese, you don’t understand what it’s like to wear the same thing everyday. Confirmation in 2000 Positive Experience of Faith Debate (Search for Truth) o Excursus: “Hello, Mr. Police Man!” (from a young child) Encounter with Theology and Philosophy
HS Graduation: Like a toilet flush. Where am I going? Life at Clemson as an Engineering Major Prayer The 5 C’s: o Conformity o Conversion o Consistency o Confirmation o Conviction
Initial Interview (November 2003) o Life Lesson Learned: How to Dress for an Interview Second Interview (March 2004) Application Process (March through May 2004): o Lengthy Application Form with Essay Questions o 10 Letters of Recommendation (teachers, family members, pastor, friends, etc.) o Written Personal Biography o Full Background (criminal, driving, and credit) Checks o Full Physical Exam o Full Psychological Evaluation o Three More Interviews
Per Canon Law, in order to be ordained priests, candidates must study for at least six years, two of philosophy and two of theology. July 2004: Accepted into Seminary August 2004—May 2006: Pre-Theologate Program, Franciscan University of Steubenville (OH) Four Pillars of Formation from Pastores Dabo Vobis (John Paul II, 1992): o Human o Intellectual o Pastoral o Spiritual
Academic Task: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy: o Two semesters of Latin o Four semesters of Spanish o Four courses in introductory Theology o Ten specific courses in Philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, natural theology, ethics, logic, philosophical anthropology, and the history of philosophy (one course each in ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy). o Other General Ed Requirements (English, Math, History, etc.)
Pastoral Task: Learning the “how-to” parts o Worked on Liturgy (2004-2006) o Also taught Religious Ed to elementary school-age kids. Spiritual Task: Growing in Holiness o Prayer o Spiritual Direction Human Task: Becoming a Faithful Catholic Man o Personality and Psychological Issues o Responsibility and Professionalism o Community Life
Ordination requires four years of graduate-level theology. July 2006: Assigned by Abp. Gregory to Pontifical North American College in Rome doing studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Summer 2007: Studied Greek at University College Cork (Ireland) June 2009: S.T.B. in Sacred Theology (theology-you-need-to- be-a-priest degree) June 2011: S.T.L. in Biblical Theology with Thesis on Galatians 5:13-15.
Pastoral Work: o Tour Guide for Excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica. o U.S. Navy Base in Naples, Italy. Parish Internships: o Summer 2008: Mary Our Queen, Norcross o Summer 2009: Holy Cross, Atlanta Studies (outside of theology): o Greek and Hebrew o Pastoral Counseling o Homiletics o Music
Annual Evaluation Each Year May 2009: Applied for and was approved to receive Holy Orders (to the diaconate). October 2009: Ordained a deacon (St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City) January 2010: Applied for and was approved to receive Holy Orders (to the priesthood). Also received dispensation to be ordained at age 24. June 2010: Ordained a priest (Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta).
Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which “the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: it is thus the sacrament of apostolic ministry.” (CCC 1536) Ordo = Latin “order”: In antiquity, the term described a group within civil society, especially as part of a government. Therefore, ordination means to incorporate a person into an order. In the early Church, there were a number of “orders” (i.e. catechumens, penitents, virgins, deacons, presbyters, etc.)
The foundation of the Sacrament of Orders is that the Church as a society (among other things) needs leaders. Threefold munera of Christ (Messiah): o Prophet-munus docendi- to teach o Priest-munus sanctificandi-to sanctify o King-munus regendi-to govern Christ instituted the Church in order to perpetuate his messianic ministry in the world until he comes again. Therefore, ordained ministry is principally concerned with these three dimensions of teaching, sanctification, and governing (although the laity share in each to a degree).
First and foremost, ordained ministry is about service: o Mark 10:42 -45: Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant (diakonos); 44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave (doulos) of all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served (diakonein) but to serve (diakonein) and to give his life as a ransom for many.“ It also has a collegial character (exercised in communion with the whole Church). It is also uniquely personal: “Come, follow me.”
Old Testament o The Seventy Elders (cf. Numbers 11:10-17): Help Moses with the People o Specific Vocations of Prophets, Judges, and Kings (at least the good ones): Always exercised for Israel. o OT Priesthood: Levites New Testament o The Last Supper: “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Order to Repeat) o Specific Role of the Apostles (e.g. forgiving sins, cf. Mt 18:18, Jn 20:23) o The Institution of Deacons (cf. Acts 6)
Bishops (episkopoi): “Overseers”—The apostles and their successors who presided over a local church (i.e. the group of Christians in a given city). Presbyters (presbyteroi): “Elders”—Those appointed by the bishops to minister in their place. The name “priest” was also eventually applied to this order in recognition of the priest’s role in offering the Eucharist, the new and eternal sacrifice of Christ. Deacons (diakonoi): “Waiters” or “Servants”—Those who were not given the potestas sacra to celebrate the Eucharist, but were ordained to be ministers of the word, altar, and charity.
Acts 1: After Judas’ suicide, the other eleven apostles replace him with St. Matthias (apostolic succession) Bishops: Apostles and their successors found local churches throughout the Mediterranean world. Deacons were appointed early on to assist with the poor of Jerusalem (Acts 6). Their roles would expand to include the liturgy as well. As the Church grew, it became impossible for the bishop to attend to all of the Christians in his city; therefore, priests took on the main roles in celebrating the Sacraments, especially baptisms, the Eucharist, and anointings (cf. James 5).
Until 1973, Holy Orders had a collection of major and minor orders: First Tonsure: Admission to the Clerical State Minor Orders: o Porter o Lector o Exorcist o Acolyte Major Orders: o Subdeacon o Deacon o Priest Episcopal Consecration
These orders preexisted the language of a Sacrament. While theologians have long agreed that Holy Orders is a Sacrament, there was dispute as to which Orders involved a Sacrament being conferred. Also dispute on the matter of the Sacrament. Since 1973 (Paul VI, Ministeria quaedam), Holy Orders is described as consisting of three Orders: diaconate, priesthood, and the episcopacy. Two Lay Ministries: Lector and Acolyte Admission to Candidacy One enters the clerical state with the ordination to the diaconate.
Internal Initial Discernment: Hearing the Call External Initial Discernment: Beginning Conversation about a Vocation to Ordained Ministry Formal Application Process: Takes 2-3 months Acceptance to Seminary Formation Pre-Theology/College Seminary: 2-4 years: o 4 courses in theology o 10 courses in philosophy o Latin, Greek, and usually a modern language Theology: 4 years
Admission to Candidacy: The candidate formally declares publically his intention to receive Holy Orders. Celebrated during theology (usually during the 1 st year of theology). Ministry of Lector: The candidate is formally instituted to proclaim the Word of God at Mass. Ministry of Acolyte: The candidate is formally instituted to serve at the Altar. Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate: The candidate becomes a cleric, makes his promises of prayer, celibacy, and obedience to the Bishop, and is ordained a minister of the Word, Altar, and Charity.
Principle #1: No one has a right to Ordination; Holy Orders is unique among the Sacraments in that no one has a right to receive it. Principle #2: One must freely choose to receive Orders and assume its rights and responsibilities.
Explanatory Canon: “By divine institution some among Christ’s faithful are through the sacrament of order, marked with an indelible character and are thus constituted sacred ministers; thereby they are consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they fulfil, in the person of Christ the Head, the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling, and so they nourish the people of God.” (c. 1008) For validity, the ordinand must be a baptized male (c. 1024). The Sacrament is conferred by the laying on of hands and the prayer of ordination. (c. 1009.2) For liceity, he must have received Confirmation (c. 1033). He must “enjoy the requisite freedom” from coercion (c. 1026).
To protect the Church from scandal, the Church has also legislated impediments and irregularities to Holy Orders. One who is ordained while bound by such is suspended and ministers illicitly and all actions requiring faculties (e.g. witnessing marriages, hearing Confessions, etc.) are invalid. Simple Impediments include having a wife, one who exercises an office forbidden to clerics, neophytes. (c. 1042) Irregularities include insanity, apostasy, heresy, schism, having attempted marriage(even if only civil) while impeded by orders of a vow, willful homicide, abortion, mutilation, attempted suicide, performing an act reserved to Orders without possessing it. (c. 1041)
After the proclamation of the Gospel, a deacon calls all the ordinandi by name, and they respond: “Present.” A Priest who assisted in the ordinandi’s training says: “Most Reverend Father, holy mother Church asks you to ordain these, our brothers, to the responsibility of the Priesthood.” Bishop: “Do you know them to be worthy?” Priest: “After inquiry among the Christian people and upon the recommendation of those responsible, I testify that they have been found worthy.” Bishop: “Relying on the help of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, we choose these, our brothers, for the Order of the Priesthood.”
The bishop then speaks to the congregation and ordinandi about their responsibilities as priests: o Teaching: “believe what you read, […] teach what you believe, and […] practice what you teach.” o Sanctifying: Celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals. o Governing: Leading the faithful into one family in the image of the Good Shepherd.
The ordinandi then make six promises: o To faithfully carry out the office of the priesthood. o To “exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely, preaching and teaching the Catholic faith.” o To “celebrate faithfully and reverently, in accord with the Church’s tradition, the mysteries of Christ” especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. o To pray constantly for the people of God. o To “be united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest, who offered himself for us to the Father as a pure Sacrifice, and with him to consecrate yourselves to God for the salvation of all?” o Respect and obedience to the Bishop.
After making promises, the ordinandi prostrate themselves in a symbol of humility and death to oneself as the congregation prays the Litany of Saints. After this solemn chant concludes, each candidate approaches the bishop who lays hands on his head in silence. This laying on of hands is the essential matter of the Sacrament. To manifest the unity of the presbyterate, all priests presents also lay hands on the ordinandi. After the laying on of hands, the Bishop prays the Prayer of Ordination over the candidates which constitutes the essential form of the Sacrament.
The new priests, now ordained, now undergo four explanatory rites which show clearly how their lives have just changed: o Vesting with Stole and Chasuble: The new priests are clothed in their priestly vestments. o Anointing of the Hands with Chrism: “The Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, guard and preserve you that you may sanctify the Christian people and offer sacrifice to God.” o Handing Over of Bread and Wine: “Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered to God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s cross. o Sign of Peace with the Bishop and Other Priests Present
The Church, like any society, is made up of her members. The Church is compared in the NT to: o A Body, with many parts (Cf. 1 Corinthians) o A Pilgrim People (cf. 1 Peter) Each member (or “citizen”) has his or her own role. All have both rights and obligations. Just as certain officials in our American society have specific rights and obligations (i.e. legislators, police officers, judges, executive officials, etc.), so also do certain members of the Church have unique obligations corresponding to their state.
To show “reverence and obedience” to the Pope and their Ordinary (in ATL, currently Archbishop Gregory) (c. 273). To fulfill the office assigned them by the Ordinary (c. 274.2). To seek cooperation in the Church and promote the lay vocation (c. 275). In a special way, to seek holiness of life through prayer, retreats, and the Sacraments (c. 276). To observe “perfect and perpetual continence” and behave prudently regarding such matters (c. 277). To live simply (c. 282). To wear “suitable ecclesiastical dress” (c. 284) To not assume political office (c. 285. 3) To not engage in commerce or trade (c. 286)
Men and women who enter the religious life profess vows in the three evangelical counsels: o Poverty o Chastity o Obedience Religious brothers and sisters: General term pertaining to anyone in religious life. Monks: Men who belong to a monastery. Nuns: Women who belong to a monastery. Hermits: Live alone. Third Orders include laity who do not profess vows but benefit from the spirituality of the various orders.
Every community (or religious order) has a different process, but the following is a general overview: o Postulancy / Aspirancy (1 year): A phase of “feeling out” between a person and a community. o Novitiate (always 1 year): The novice spends one year undergoing intensive spiritual formation (non-academic). o Simple Vows (approx. 6-9 years): The religious professes temporary vows and either participates in the apostolate or undergoes academic training. o Solemn Vows: The religious professes perpetual vows in the community. o Generally male religious who aspire to the priesthood must be in solemn vows before ordination.