This past Saturday, 4 men were ordained as priests by Bishop Lennon at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. At one point in the ceremony, something very subtle takes place. The priests & bishops who sit on the "presbyterium" or semi-circular seats on either side of the bishop's chair (called the "cathedra" which is where we get the word "cathedral"), move over & make room for the newly-ordained to sit there after Holy Communion. Earlier in the ceremony, they sat on chairs in front of the first pews.
The message is subtle but important: we make room for the new priests. We welcome them to the fraternity of the diocesan presbyterate for they are now called forth from the People of God to lead and serve those same people through the ordained ministry.
That’s one of the roles of the Holy Spirit in the Church & in each of us…to help us feel that we are a part of something, a part of a unique community. Each of us are here today only because of the Holy Spirit…he has somehow led us here, called us to be part of this community in prayer & worship. But the Spirit also sets each of us apart to do the work of God in whatever vocation we have been given.