Priests Ordained for the Diocese
By Kevin Kelly
June 11, 2004
KANSAS CITY - Calling it "a great day for the Diocese of Kansas
City-St. Joseph," Bishop Raymond J. Boland ordained Father
Shawn Ratigan, 38, and Father Joseph Totton, 28, as the diocese's
newest priests June 4 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The ordinations to the priesthood mark the second event in a rare
three-fold celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Orders that will
be completed in the span of six weeks.
|Bishop Raymond J. Boland offers
prayers before the newly ordained priests Father Shawn Ratigan
and Father Joseph Totton. Kevin Kelly/Key photo [Photo is no
longer on the Catholic Key website; retrieved from Google Images.]
On May 3, the diocese's new coadjutor bishop, Bishop Robert W.
Finn, was ordained as bishop at the Cathedral of the Immaculate
On June 12, four men - Rich Akins, Kenneth Albers, Steven Carter
and Michael Peterson - will be ordained as permanent deacons.
The ordinations were also the first celebrated in the cathedral
since it was renovated and rededicated in 2003.
Bishop Boland used the occasion of the ordinations to the priesthood
before a congregation that filled the cathedral to highlight the
unique and irreplaceable role of the priest.
"Nobody should depart here thinking he has only received an
analysis of the priest's job description," Bishop Boland said
as he urged the congregation to pay close attention to each part
of the rich liturgy of the ordination rite.
The bishop noted that the rite was revised at the Second Vatican
Council, with the rite of ordination "carefully crafted to
ensure that those to be ordained know exactly what is happening
when (transitional) deacons become priests through the creative
power of God's grace."
At each step, he said, the newly ordained priest "becomes
a different person and is changed forever."
"The core of the ceremony is to show you not just what the
priest does, but what the priest becomes," Bishop Boland said.
"The value of all the things he will do during his years of
priesthood owe their substance and their efficacy to the fact that
his life is eternally grafted to the priesthood of Jesus Christ,"
the bishop said.
Recalling Christ's words at the Last Supper, Bishop Boland said
that Jesus invited his disciples "to reciprocate his love and
to love others, to become his friends - a friendship so rich and
so intense and so faithful that one is willing to sacrifice one's
life for the other."
"This is what Christ did, and he makes it possible for each
priest to do the same in every role to which he is called - as shepherd,
intercessor, motivator, teacher, sanctifier, reconciler, in season
and out of season, till the final summons comes," he said.