Glenmary Prepares to Celebrate Priestly Ordinations

Brother David Henley, vocation directorMay 2012

"‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'"—Heb 7:17

Crispine Adongo and Aaron Wessman entered Glenmary's formation program in the fall of 2005. Seven years later, they are preparing for their ordination to the priesthood on May 26! Some people may see their years in formation as a long time—and even these two men have had moments when I'm sure it seemed like their ordinations were a long way off!

"How long is the formation process?" is a question that I am asked very frequently by those discerning with us. The answer varies depending on each individual and how much education he has had prior to joining Glenmary Home Missioners. But for all, the length of time is between six and 10 years.

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest" (Lk 10:2). In the southern part of the United States, hundreds of counties are still without a Catholic presence. The mission need is tremendous, which is why we Glenmarians have dedicated our lives to serve in the missions. And we realize more men are needed to serve with us.

We would like to see the men in Glenmary formation who are pursuing priesthood be ordained as quickly as possible, and those pursuing brotherhood be ready to take their Final Oaths as soon as possible—so that they can begin serving in Mission Land, USA. But we also believe it is important that each man be as well prepared as possible.

Our founder, Father William Howard Bishop, wrote: "Specialized training will be as necessary for this work as it is for the foreign missions.... We plan to go into our home mission fields not one bit less equipped than our foreign mission societies go into the foreign mission field.... At home, our missioners can both observe and participate in various missionary labors in the field as part of their preparation" (Glenmary Challenge, Volume 2, Number 3, 1939). The formation period is an important time to discern one's call and to prepare oneself for the future challenges that will be encountered in the mission areas. Also, the people in these mission areas deserve no less than the best-prepared men, willing to dedicate their lives to serve in the poor and neglected regions of the United States.

As the ordination date for Crispine and Aaron draws near, I have been reflecting on this passage in Paul's second letter to Timothy: "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith" (2 Tm 4:7). In one sense, these men have completed their formation—but this is not the end of the race. This is just the beginning of the next step in their vocation as missioners! After their ordination, they will continue their work by serving the people of God as missionary priests. And since our personal formation continues throughout our life, their races are far from over. Continue to pray for them on their journeys, and for all those men preparing to be Glenmary missionary priests and brothers.

Crispine and Aaron's ordinations will take place on May 26 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Fairfield, Ohio. The celebration will continue with a meal at Glenmary Headquarters afterwards. All are welcome to join us for this grand event. If you plan to attend, please contact us at 513-881-7411 and we will send you more details.