Witnessing an Ordination

Yesterday, the Salesians of Don Bosco in Liberia gained a new priest.  He is the second Liberian to be ordained in the order, and the first to be ordained in Liberia.  Originally, he was to have been ordained in August, 2014, but Ebola threw a wrench in those plans, so he stayed in Rome and did some additional studies and work while waiting for his ordination to be rescheduled.

My wife and I took our son, Ikinji, to witness the event.  We left the girls at home with a baby sitter.  Yakum would have been fine, but the 3+ hour liturgy would have been a bit much for the twins.  This is actually the second ordination he’s seen.  He certainly wouldn’t remember the first, which was a Polish man who was ordained to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Turkmenistan and he was one year old.  So, three of us went to witness the proceedings and to pray for the ordinand.

I was really on the fence about going up until the day before.  Given the state of the liturgy here, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to pray in the midst of the liturgical abuse.  Happily, I was able to pray for (now) Father Albert Gibson in spite of the…liberties that the choir took with the liturgy, even with the Archbishop there.  One of the more amusing moments came when the Archbishop cut off the choir as they were about to launch into a song (yes, a song, not a hymn) after the calling and presentation of the ordinand.  The Archbishop decided to move along with the next part, the homily, rather than wait for the four or more verses to be sung (with repeats!).

Of course, the ordination ceremony itself is beautiful, with the laying on of hands (by the Archbishop, then all the priests present (20+ in this case)), anointing his hands, and vesting in priestly garments.  I had to leave before the very end so the babysitter could get to a class, so I missed the newly-ordained blessing his parents.  In this case, only his mother was there, and apparently she converted just two years ago, while her son was in formation.  It’s wonderful that he heard the call, even though it seems he wasn’t raised in a Catholic home.

So, since they didn’t sing it yesterday, a Te Deum in honor of the new priest:

Te Deum laudámus:* te Dóminum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem,* omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes ángeli,*
tibi cæli et univérsæ potestátes:
tibi chérubim et séraphim*
incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus,* Sanctus,* Sanctus*
Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra* maiestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus* Apostolórum chorus,
te prophetárum* laudábilis númerus,
te mártyrum candidátus* laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum*
sancta confitétur Ecclésia,
Patrem* imménsæ maiestátis;
venerándum tuum verum* et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque* Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu rex glóriæ,* Christe.
Tu Patris* sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu, ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem,*
non horruísti Vírginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,*
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes,* in glória Patris.
Iudex créderis* esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quæsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni,*
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis* in glória numerári.
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine,*
et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos,* et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies* benedícimus te;
et laudámus nomen tuum in sæculum,*
et in sæculum sæculi.
Dignáre, Dómine, die isto*
sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine,* miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos,*
quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi:*
non confúndar in ætérnum.