On Friday there was a very beautiful ordination Mass at St. Maria Goretti Church. We have three new priests! There are short bios of them in a news release on the diocesan website.
I attended Fr. Steve Petrica’s first Mass the following morning. He is a convert who had formerly been an Anglican priest (part of this ecclesial community I believe) and in psychological practice. This was his first time validly consecrating the Eucharist, but the liturgical actions were not new to him. It was the Novus Ordo mostly in Latin, with Gregorian chant supplied by the more than capable Aristotle Esguerra, and a great homily,–an epic and exquisite exhortation to the new priest, by Father John Zuhlsdorf. Please pray for our new priests.
Recently there was a big announcement of the diocese’s new priestly assignments. It would be fun if I was capable of doing a “Whispers In the Loggia” style commentary on it–Rocco Palmo seemingly knows everything and everyone and immediately has all the background and insight on every new episcopal appointment. But quite frankly I am not that deeply knowledgeable. I’ll miss Fr John Sasse, who I often confessed to, who will be moving from St Patrick Parish in Cottage Grove to St Clement in Lancaster. Fr Sternberg is headed to Rome to pursue a degree in liturgy at San Anselmo (some students made a we-will-miss-you-so-much video), and his place at Saint Paul’s University Catholic Center will be taken by Fr Tim Renz, a young priest who had been at St Joseph parish in Baraboo and the chaplain at the Catholic summer camp, Camp Gray. This is excellent both for Saint Paul’s and for Fr. Tim. One of my hopes for St Paul’s is simple but still unlikely to be realized, that is, for “praise&worship” Christian pop music, to which I am profoundly allergic, to be absolutely abolished, possibly excepting occasions of an entertainment or social nature, that do not occur in the church. Other than that, St Paul’s is simply a fantastic thing and doing much good, thanks to Fr Nielsen and Fr Sternberg, FOCUS, etc. If you would like to see a really excellent video introducing how much good there is at St Paul’s, click here, and to see an adorable video of a UW student who was baptized at St Paul’s, click here.
Other good young priests coming into Madison include Fr John Silva who transferred into our diocese last year, now to be at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monona, and Fr Michael Radowicz, now to be at St Bernard’s on Atwood Avenue. And Fr Randy Timmerman, the former pastor of St Paul’s, is back from Janesville to head the “social justice” parish of St Dennis on the east side of Madison, and I think that parish will be enriched by Fr Randy’s deep spirituality and love of Sacred Scripture. Meanwhile Monsignor Heiar of St Thomas Aquinas Parish on the west side of Madison will head down to Fr Randy’s former parish St John Vianney in Janesville, while St Thomas Aquinas will come under the care of Monsignor Dushack the pastor of St Bernard in Middleton, till Fr Bart Timmerman takes over as new pastor of STA in mid-July, when most of these appointments take effect.