This past weekend nine men were ordained to the priesthood for my home Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. On the Sunday feast of Corpus Christi my family and I assisted at the first Mass, a Mass of Thanksgiving, of a new priest who had grown up in our parish. It was a beautiful Mass, and the sanctuary was full of men who had received the Sacrament of Holy Orders: deacons, priests, and even two bishops.
As the Mass went on, and I stood in back with my one year old son, I was filled with incredible gratitude for the gift of the priesthood that has been given to the Church. I watched those men in the sanctuary, who have given their whole lives to the Church, to spread the Gospel, to administer the Sacraments, to be another Christ for us, and I prayed for them. It is a good thing that Holy Orders is a sacrament, because the priesthood is a vocation that can only be lived fully with sacramental graces.