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The largest priest ordination class in the U.S.: Paterson, NJ—UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/08/15

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Last year, the distinction belonged to Brooklyn. Now, a neighbor to the northwest earns that title.

Check it out, from the diocesan website via The Beacon:

Bishop Serratelli had the joyful distinction of ordaining the largest ordination class in the nation May 23 in St. Philip Church here. The 14 men of diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences that he ordained to the priesthood for the Paterson Diocese were matched only by the Archdiocese of Chicago in number as the most for any diocese in the United States. The bishop encouraged these new priests — also part of the largest ordination class in the Diocese since 1974 — “to conform your life to the mystery of the Cross.” The 14 new diocesan priests are: Father Darwin Jesus Lastra Barraza, Father Luis A. Hernandez, Father Jose M. Jimenez, Father Milton Edilzon Camargo Muñoz and Father Giovanni Rodriguez Osorno, all of Colombia; Father Lemmuel Alonzo Camacho of the Philippines; Father Daniel Jan Chajkowski of Canada; Father Jakub Krzysztof Grzybowski, Father Lukasz Iwanczyk, Father Mateusz Jasniewicz, Father Maciej Kranc, Father Kamil Stachowiak and Father Paweł Tomczyk, all of Poland; and Father Stephen Prisk of Clifton. “It’s good to see that there isn’t enough room for everyone [in St. Philip’s]. It shows your great support and encouragement for these new priests and our love for the Church,” Bishop Serratelli told the standing-room-only crowd that included seminarians’ families, friends, members of faith communities they have served and parishioners from around the diocese who had come to offer their support and prayers. “These young men are gifts from God. The Holy Spirit is truly present in this holy place today,” he said. The Mass with the Rite of Ordination was steeped in the traditions of the early Church [see related story, page 11]. Bishop Serratelli was main celebrant and homilist of the liturgy, concelebrated with Bishop Emeritus Rodimer and a large number of priests from the diocese and elsewhere. In his homily, Bishop Serratelli challenged the 14 men he ordained to become “true priests of the New Testament, preaching the Gospel, shepherding His people and celebrating the Lord’s sacrifice.” He urged them to “forgive sins in the name of Christ, comfort the sick, celebrate the sacred rites and pray for the world.” Priests are also called to bring the faithful together into one family in one spirit, he said.

Read more.Ad multos annos! 

UPDATE: Actually, as the article notes, Paterson is tied with Chicago, which also ordained 14 priests this year. Both ordinations are notable for their international flavor, with new priests coming from all over the world.

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