May 22, 2005

Cardinal ordains eight priests

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Sunday, May 22, 2005

Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday ordained eight men to the priesthood, a welcome addition for an archdiocese that is closing more than a quarter of its parishes partly because of a shortage of priests.

Although he did not refer directly to the closings or the clergy sexual abuse crisis that helped precipitate them, O'Malley acknowledged the difficult task that lay ahead of the new clergymen.

``Answering the call to ministry is never easy. Not everyone who is called is ready to respond,'' O'Malley said in his homily at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End.

``I invite you to rest your heads on the heart of Jesus. Set an example for believers in your words and in your actions. Have a special love for your brother priests. They are your new family.''

Thomas S. Rafferty, one of the newly ordained priests, said he had thought about becoming a priest ever since he was an altar boy but went on to practice law for 20 years before he entered the seminary.

``I'm aware of how much people have been hurt,'' he said, referring to the sexual abuse crisis and the parish closings. ``But the church has always faced difficult times but the Holy Spirit gets us through. He's in it for the long haul.''

Posted by kshaw at May 22, 2005 07:44 AM