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Diversity of newly ordained priests a great witness to the universality of the Church, Archbishop says

Seven men were ordained to the priesthood on May 14 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The diverse nationalities of the men represented the universality of the Church, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said.

“It is a great witness to the universality of the church that we have men being ordained today from Vietnam, from Mexico, from Colombia and from here in the United States,” Archbishop Aquila said.

Fernando Londoño, Matthew Magee, Mason Fraley, Salvador Sánchez-Gasca, Brother James Claver, Thomas Nguyen and Vincent Bui were the men who were ordained. Photo by Dan Petty.
(Not in order) Fernando Londoño, Matthew Magee, Mason Fraley, Salvador Sánchez-Gasca, Brother James Claver, Thomas Nguyen and Vincent Bui were the men who were ordained. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Londoño, Magee, Fraley, Sánchez-Gasca and Brother Claver were all given assignments within the Archdiocese of Denver, while Nyugen and Bui are going to serve in their home diocese of Bui Chu in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The bishop of the diocese of Bui Chu, Thomas Vũ Đình Hiệu, was in attendance at the ordination. Archbishop Aquila thanked him for his presence and for so graciously allowing Bui and Nyugen to study for the priesthood at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Colorado.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said he was grateful that two Vietnamese preists were able to study and be ordained in Denver. Photo by Dan Petty.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said he was grateful that two Vietnamese priests, Fathers Thomas Nguyen and Vincent Bui, were able to study and be ordained in Denver. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

During the homily, Archbishop Aquila implored to men to maintain a demeanor of humility and servanthood, imitating that of Christ in their own priesthood.

“It is important for you to understand your own weaknesses. You are called to be deeply rooted in your own humility,” Archbishop Aquila said. “Make yourself a total self gift, no matter what the cost. Always keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.”

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception had standing room only for the May 14 ordinations. Photo by Dan Petty.
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception had standing room only for the May 14 ordinations. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

He said that only with the heart of Jesus can the men fulfill their priestly duties.

“In your ministry you will meet those who are sick and suffering. It is only with the heart of Christ that when you are called in the middle of the night to go and anoint the sick or baptize the dying that you will do so with joy,” he said. “Jesus, who has gone before us, has experienced all and he calls us into his love.”

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The new priests receive the kiss of peace from all the priests of the archdiocese. The Archbishop reminded the men that a fruitful ministry would come from having servants’ hearts and a faithful relationship with Christ. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Archbishop Aquila told the men to reflect upon and cultivate their own relationship with Christ and to share the love they have experienced with those they will be serving.

“It is only in that personal experience in the gaze of the love of Jesus from the cross that we truly see the depth of his love for us,” he said.

With some of the new priests being sent to a different part of the world, he reminded them that no matter where they are called to serve, their mission will always remain the same: to lead others to Christ.

“It is precisely in your ministry that you will be nourished as priests, no matter where you are called to serve,” Archbishop Aquila said. “You are sent with the same mission, and that is to lead others to Christ.”

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The newly ordained pose with their bishops and priests from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. Click here to see a list of the new Denver priests’ parish assignments. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Aaron Lambert
Aaron is the Managing Editor for the Denver Catholic.
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