We had a new priest ordained from our parish last weekend. He is a sweet, young man who was baptized and raised in our parish , who served faithfully at the altar as an altar boy, and whose parents are very active in volunteering and serving the church in many ways. It is a wonderful tradition for a new priest to say his very first mass in his home parish. For catholics, ordination is as big of a deal as a wedding. The parents of the ordained are honored, there is a reception, gifts, etc. This past Sunday, Father Regan said his first mass at Sacred Heart.
Father Regan said a beautiful mass. The priest invited to preach gave an inspiring and memorable homily. But the part of the mass everyone will remember most, came at the end. Father Regan spoke at the end of the mass about some of the traditions surrounding priestly ordination, especially regarding honoring the parents of a newly ordained young man. When a priest is ordained, the bishop consecrates the new priests hands by rubbing a fair amount of chrism oil over his palms. This oil is subsequently wiped off with a special cloth called the maniturgium. This cloth is then presented to the mother of the newly ordained priest. Father Regan then brought forward a beautiful wood box that contained his maniturgium to be presented to this mother. Choking back tears he thanked his mother for all she had done for him; from bandaging his childhood scrapes to supporting his vocation. As he spoke his words of deep gratitude you could hear the sniffles and see the tears being wiped away by every mother in the church. There was a small contingent of nuns toward the front of the church, invited by the family for this special celebration, and they were all weeping. As a mother I thought how blessed Mrs. Regan was to have such a son and how blessed she was to hear such love and appreciation for all she had done and sacrificed for her son. Every mother present was blessed by his tribute. Thank you, Father Regan, from every mother of Sacred Heart.