Around the ArchdioceseVocations

Five enter priesthood, two transitional deacons ordained

Assignments to begin for new priests July 9

By Jill Kruse-Domeyer & Dan Russo
Witness Staff

DUBUQUE — On the morning following the ordination of two transitional deacons, five men were ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Dubuque at the Cathedral of St. Raphael May 25.

The storms from the night before had moved on and the sun began to shine shortly before the 10 a.m. Mass at which Fathers James Goerend, Thomas Heathershaw, Joshua Link, Michael McAndrew and Tyler Raymond were ordained to the priesthood. With Archbishop Michael Jackels still on the mend following a recent heart attack, Archbishop Emeritus Jerome Hanus, OSB, returned to the archdiocese to preside over the sacraments.

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The ordination ceremony included various rituals, all rich in symbolism and tradition. The five men who were being ordained prostrated themselves on the cathedral floor as the Litany of the Saints was chanted, a way of signifying their unworthiness for the office of the priesthood and their dependence upon God and others’ prayers.

The ceremony also included the laying on of hands, in which the Holy Spirit was invoked to come down upon the men being ordained; the vesting of each of the new priests with a stole and chasuble; the anointing of their hands with sacred chrism; the presentation to each of a paten and chalice; and the sharing with them of the priests’ sign of peace, a fraternal hug from the other priests of the archdiocese.

During his homily at the morning’s Mass, Archbishop Hanus highlighted a document published by Pope John Paul II in 1992, which, he joked, was “about the time that most of our candidates were born.”

In the document, the archbishop said, the late pontiff described who priests are, calling them “living instruments of Christ the eternal priest, so that through the ages they can accomplish his wonderful work of reuniting the whole human race with heavenly power.”

Continuing his focus on the words of Pope John Paul II, the archbishop said, “He reminds us who Christ is and what Christ does. He summarizes this in three words: prophet, priest, pastor. Christ is prophet, priest and pastor. He accomplishes his ‘wonderful work’ in this three-fold office. Priests are formed and ordained to continue Christ’s work as prophet, priest and pastor.” The archbishop went on to illustrate in his homily the ways in which the newly ordained will exercise these three different aspects of their ministry.

In the moments following the ordination Mass, Father Michael McAndrew reflected on the significance of what had just taken place. “It is just the fulfillment of a lot,” he said, “and also the beginning of a lot.”

“It’s a beautiful day,” he added, “and I’m just so excited to see what God has in store for my priesthood and excited to meet the people I’m going to serve.”

Father McAndrew and the four other new priests have been assigned to serve as associate pastors in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

A tornado warning in the final moments of the ordination Mass of Transitional Deacons Nick Radloff and Joseph Sevcik on May 24 added some extra excitement to the special occasion. Refreshments were served afterward in the cathedral basement, where those in attendance took shelter for safety’s sake. The unusual setting didn’t dull the happy mood at the reception. Following an additional year of formation, Deacons Radloff and Sevcik, who are now students at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, will join the priesthood. They are slated to take this final step toward their vocations in the spring of  2020.

During his homily for the deacons’ ordination, Archbishop Hanus described our status as “sheep” holding up signs that say “Help wanted.”

“We need a shepherd,” he said. “We need Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Pastor Bonus.”

The archbishop also spoke about the role the transitional deacons will play in answering the divine call to become good shepherds themselves who follow Christ’s example.

“As we invoke the Holy Spirit, in a few minutes, let us earnestly beseech God to fill Joseph and Nick with the strength and humble willingness to provide the help which is so much needed,” said Archbishop Hanus. “May God complete this work in them.”


Archbishop Emeritus Jerome Hanus, OSB, (front, center) poses with (l to r- front) Fathers Tom Heathershaw, Tyler Raymond, (back): Jim Goerend, Joshua Link and Michael McAndrew after their ordinations. (Photo by Dcn. James Pfaffly)