Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama ordained Jairo Alberto Maldonado Pacheco and Matthew Ikechukwu Nwafor to the priesthood at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral June 6.
Though the coronavirus pandemic could not stop the celebration, the event looked slightly different because of safety regulations in place. Every other pew was blocked off to allow for social distancing, and members of the diocese were encouraged to watch via livestream rather than attend in person. Those who did attend were asked to wear masks throughout the service.
Despite the limited number of guests, and the unfamiliar feeling of face masks, joy and ebullience filled the church. Especially in light of the fact that, for many, this was their first celebration of the Eucharist in several months.
In his homily, Bishop Luis Rafael noted the love felt throughout the celebration and asked the two men to remember that love was the reason and the power behind every part of being a priest.
He said, “What is the power that moves you to serve the Lord? The power of love…moves you and gives you the strength that you need…. When service is without love and kindness and compassion, it is empty…. The Lord is calling you to share the love he has for both of you with the people he entrusts to you.”
Father Matthew is appointed parochial vicar at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.
Father Jairo is appointed parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi.
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