Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What you can learn from dictionaries about rectors

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Four men to be ordained transitional deacons May 3

Four men from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity will be ordained transitional deacons at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 3, at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. (I guess that happened last weekend).

Archbishop John Nienstedt will preside [presided] at the ordination.

What is unusual about this? And why?

The men from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are:

• Douglas Ebert
Home parish: St. Joseph in Hopkins
Teaching parish: Lumen Christi in St. Paul

• Allan Eilen
Home parish: St. Agnes in St. Paul
Teaching parish: St. Pius X in White Bear Lake

• Michael Johnson
Home parish: St. Joseph in Lino Lakes
Teaching parish: St. Rose of Lima in Roseville

• Steven Garner of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, will also be ordained at the basilica. His home parish is St. Columbkille in Dubuque, and his teaching parish is St. Joseph in Lino Lakes.

Other seminarians will be ordained in the coming months in their home dioceses.

Seminarians become transitional (as opposed to permanent) deacons as one of the final steps in their progression toward ordination to the priesthood.

Deacons can proclaim the Gospel, preach and teach, and administer the sacraments of marriage and baptism.

At a diaconate ordination, unlike ordination to the priesthood, only the bishop lays hands on the ordinand, signifying his special attachment to serving the bishop. Like priests, deacons are called to consecrate themselves to the Lord and take vows of celibacy.


I'm no expert, but being a geezer, I cringe at newfangled words the Vatican II church as been using like homily, ambo, rector, parochial vicar, etc. I saw nothing wrong with sermon, pulpit, pastor, assistant pastor, etc. Why this change?

Well, to cut to the chase, as somebody once said and I don't know why, a rector is the priest in charge of the day to day operations of a facility that really is the responsibility of the Archbishop (in our case). But between cathedrals, co-cathedrals, major seminaries, minor seminaries and various hermitages, missionary apostolates, etc., one of the most important duties of an Archbishop is to delegate.

So what is significant about this archdiocesan announcement is that Archbishop Nienstedt will be ordaining these deacons at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis, which is the Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese (much to the chagrin of many a St Paulite, to be sure, but that is an issue for another day. It happened during the hubbub of Vatican II, if you want to research it).

That indicates to me that Archbishop Nienstedt will be making regular appearances at the Basilica and assuming more direct control over it and its rector than has been done in the past. I would say that that is good. God is good!




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