Bishop ordains three priests Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
ordination hands
Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison anoints the hands of a new priest during the ordination Mass celebrated on June 29 at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison. Frs. Peter Lee,  Drew Olson, and Grant Thies were ordained to the priesthood. To view or purchase photos, go to (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- In his homily, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison welcomed three new priests -- Frs. Peter Lee, Drew Olson, and Grant Thies -- to what he called a “beautiful life.”

“But beautiful is not a synonym for easy,” the bishop added reiterating, “you’ll have a beautiful life.”

The three men were ordained to the priesthood at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison on June 29.

Planting the Church

Prior to the bishop’s homily, the three men to be ordained were called and presented to Bishop Morlino as worthy to be ordained as they stood before him.

Fr. Larry Herrera, SJ, from the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where Father Lee and Father Olson study, presented the new priests to the bishop.

Bishop Morlino’s homily was based on the entrance antiphon for the day’s Mass on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul: “These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God.”

The bishop told the men they would partake in all three of these actions as priests.

He spoke of the martyrs in the Church and how they “went out to the whole world and they told the truth.” He told the men they would tell the truth in their priesthood on issues such as marriage and immigration.

“You will plant the Church by your blood when you speak the truth about marriage,” he said.

He added that they would drink the chalice of the Lord in their sufferings, knowing that “Jesus really is the one who suffers”.

He also commented that “all of us are friends of God, but there is a special friendship” being a priest.

Ordination rites

Following Bishop Morlino’s homily, the three men made their promises as a priest: to proclaim the Church’s faith in word and deed, to be celibate “for the sake of the kingdom,” and to respect and obey the bishop and his successors.

The men then lay prostrate on the floor “dying” to their selves and rising to new life during the Litany of Supplication. Fr. Brian Dulli, pastor of St. William Parish in Janesville and soon to be pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Cottage Grove, led singing of the “Litany of Saints.”

Next, came the Laying on of Hands and Prayer of Ordination. Bishop Morlino placed his hands on their heads, conferring upon them the gift of the Holy Spirit. Priests in attendance then took turns also laying their hands on their heads, symbolizing their ordination to the presbyterate.

The newly ordained were then vested with a stole and chasuble.

Father Lee was vested by Fr. Miguel Galvez, SJS, parochial administrator of Divine Mercy Parish in Sauk City. Father Olson was vested by Fr. William Vernon, pastor of St. Clement Parish in Lancaster and former pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Verona, which was Father Olson’s home parish in the diocese. Father Thies was vested by Fr. Aaron Esch, pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Greendale, in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The bishop then anointed the hands of the new priests with Sacred Chrism. Their hands were then wrapped in the maniturgia -- a linen cloth used after the anointing. Traditionally, this cloth is given afterwards to the priest’s mother.

Parents of the newly ordained then brought up the gifts to the bishop. These were then presented to the new priests.

Priests in attendance again lined up to offer a sign of peace to the newly ordained.

As Mass concluded, Fathers Lee, Olson, and Thies offered their first blessings to Bishop Morlino and their parents.

Bishop Morlino also helped the men entrust their priesthood to the Blessed Virgin Mary by leading the singing of “Salve Regina” as well as “God Bless America” in honor of Independence Day being just a few days away.

Mass participants

Bishop Morlino was the main celebrant of the Mass. Concelebrants included Msgr. James Bartylla, vicar general for the Diocese of Madison; Fr. Bob Evenson, parochial administrator of St. Maria Goretti Parish; Msgr. Kevin Holmes, rector of Cathedral Parish in Madison; along with other priests of the diocese and guests of the ordained.

The Deacon of the Word was Deacon Lawrence Oparaji and the Deacon of the Eucharist was Deacon Steve Brunner. Deacons Oparaji and Brunner are set to be ordained as priests next year.

Fr. Greg Ihm, vocations director for the diocese, served as Master of Ceremonies. Diocesan seminarians and men discerning a call to the priesthood served the Mass.

The Madison Diocesan Choir, directed by Dr. Patrick Gorman, provided music.

The Knights of Columbus Honor Guard Assembly 1200 Madison, along with the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, were in attendance.

The new priests

Father Lee is the son of Nancy and John Lee from Hartford, Wis. He is assigned to St. Cecilia Parish in Wisconsin Dells as parochial vicar, while continuing Licentiate studies in the academic year at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Father Olson is the son of Kathryn and Gregory Olson from Granger, Ind. He is assigned to St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison as parochial vicar, while continuing Licentiate studies in the academic year at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Father Thies is the son of Kathy and Dr. David Thies from Elkhorn, Wis. He is assigned to Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish in Sun Prairie as parochial vicar.

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