Cardinal: 'Overflow in joy' builds up the five men ordained to the priesthood

June 14, 2016

After many years of discernment, prayer and faith formation, five seminarians from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston were ordained into the priesthood on Saturday, June 4.

More than 2,000 attendees witnessed the ordinations of Fathers Xavier Bilavendiran, Augustin-Khôi Duy Lê, Preston Quintela, Nicolas Ramirez and Clark Sample.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo served as the principal celebrant for the Ordination Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. More than 100 priests from all over the Archdiocese were present to concelebrate the Mass and welcome the new brother priests into their fraternity.

In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo said priests are called to be signs and instruments of mercy.

“The encounter is with Jesus. We’re instruments to that,” he said. “Clear as signs leading to encounter, even through our words and agency in the Sacrament. But, never forget that you’re a sign.”

Cardinal DiNardo stressed the new priests are embarking on a ministry of compassion and mercy that includes service, availability, sanctification, preaching and teaching.

“You are called and have been formed and you have given your ‘yes,’ and the Church has applauded and ascended to that ‘yes,’” he said. “You are made distinct today so that you might be in the midst of the Church and not thinking yourselves above the Church.”

Also in attendance was Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth; Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin; and Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB, from the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico. 

Bishop Cantu, a native of Houston, is the uncle of Father Ramirez and Bishop Vasquez, who previously served in Galveston-Houston as auxiliary bishop, is Father Quintela’s godfather. 

Cardinal DiNardo asked attendees to pray for the new priests, saying the road to the priesthood is costly, and there’s a lot of humility needed in the journey.

“The overflow in joy of people for their priest builds up the priest,” he said. “But if the priest is built up in vanity, that means that he’s been built up incorrectly.”

Cardinal DiNardo stressed to the new priests the importance of daily Mass, which should be the basis of their spirituality.

“That not a day goes by when you are not celebrating the body and blood of the Lord,” he said. “You do it in His person; you are as clear and as interesting as a cold glass of water on a hot day in Houston.”

Their first priestly assignments will begin on July 1.