|The Class of '99 - Fathers Peter Mullan, Jason Huynh, Frederick Keiser, Michael Mitchell, Yours truly, and Mark Thelen at the ordination of Father Michael|
Dear Family and Friends,
I am in Rome and loving it. Today we had mass with Pope Francis, my first time as a priest. It was beautiful.
I’m here for a very special ceremony tomorrow – the ordination of 35 new priests. Many of them are old friends, so it is good to be here.
One of them has been with me since 1998. Right now he is Deacon Peter Mullan. After the Ordination Mass tomorrow morning, he will be Father Peter, the last of the six members of my graduating class in 1999 from Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in Center Harbor New Hampshire to become a priest.
The six of us have been through a lot together, and even though we live in four different countries now we try to keep in touch. Father Michael Mitchell, from Pennsylvania, was ordained in 2011 and is now directing regularly humanitarian relief missions to Haiti. Father Jason Huynh and Father Mark Thelen were ordained in 2012. Father Jason helps in a minor seminary, Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. Father Mark is doing youth ministry in Barcelona, Spain, much of it apparently on the Camino of Santiago! Father Frederick Keiser and I were ordained last year in 2013. Father Frederick does youth work in Chile, as I do in Ohio.
Father Peter is in Mexico where he too helps in youth ministry.
It’s such a gift to see your old friends take the final steps! I love being a priest, and it is such a wonderful gift to be one. Sunday is my one year anniversary, hurray!!!
Please say a prayer for all of the guys who will be ordained tomorrow, especially so they can get a good sleep before the big day tomorrow!
God bless you,