Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Posted in Seminary and Vocations on August 9, 2014

In a beautiful four hour-long ceremony which was truly a glimpse of the heavenly Liturgy, four priests were ordained for Holy Mother Church by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, on August 5, Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major (also known as, the Feast of Our Lady of Snows), at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, Missouri.

Appropriately styled the “Cathedral of the South Side,” the neo-Gothic landmark church was overflowing its full seating capacity of 1,200 persons with faithful and friends of the Ordinands and of the Institute from the four corners of the country. St. Francis de Sales Oratory’s towering altars with their graceful statues, its vibrant stain glass windows, the colorful ornamentation of its pillars, and the soaring heights of its decorative vaulted ceilings offered a glorious setting for the conferral of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, of which the sacred character forever marks a man as a priest of God.

The melodious orchestra and the talented Oratory choir which sang the Missa Gratias Agimus Tibi by Jan Zelenka (1679-1745) , the harmonious movements of the ministers clad in decorated antique vestments, the festive flowers and ornaments of church, altar, and sanctuary all contributed to uplift the minds and hearts of all present to the supernatural reality which was taking place. The entrance of His Eminence, Cardinal Burke, vested in the traditional Cappa Magna, was a special moment which united the vast body of faithful as a spiritual family. As the trumpet, organ and timpani played the festive music of the composer Charpentier, the vast body of the faithful knelt successively row by row with filial respect to receive the Cardinal’s paternal blessing as he proceeded down the aisle.

Rich with spiritual significance, the traditional Roman Liturgy of Ordination with its prayers and ceremonies inspires a profound understanding of the priest as Alter Christus (“Another Christ”). In order to assist the faithful’s appreciation of the full meaning of the ceremony, booklets were available to explain the traditional ritual, which is a veritable catechism on the nature of the priesthood of Jesus Christ and of the ecclesial structure of the Church He founded. Furthermore, His Eminence, Cardinal Burke preached an inspirational sermon on the priesthood as an edifying lesson to the faithful who were present and as an exhortation to the Ordinands to live their priestly vocation with fidelity and generous dedication.

Several bishops were present for this momentous occasion, including His Grace, the Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, the Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and the Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop in Chicago. A large delegation from the Institute’s St. Philip Neri international seminary also came to St. Louis, including the Rector and Co-founder of the Institute, Reverend Canon Philippe Mora, as well as the nearly 30 seminarians who are natives of the United States in Canada. The four French canons who were recently ordained in Florence, Italy, on July 3, also traveled to the United States for the ordination of their fellow classmates. This large group of Institute clergy also formed a schola cantorum which sang the Gregorian Chant and provided the servers for the liturgical roles of the Pontifical Liturgy. Several priests who are spiritually affiliated with the Institute, as well as many clergy friends from the local area and beyond, assisted in choir at this Pontifical Mass. Rows of altar servers were able to see up close the making of a priest who responds to the vocation given to him by God.

Profoundly grateful to His Grace, the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, for his gracious permission, the Institute is very much indebted to His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke for his fatherly role in ordaining these four priests for the service of the Church within the community of the Institute.

With heartfelt congratulations, we offer the assurance of our prayers and best wishes to all four of the newly ordained priests, Canon Francis Altiere (Kimberton, Pennsylvania), Canon Benjamin Coggeshall (Quincy, Illinois), Canon Joel Estrada (Los Angeles, California), Canon Andrew Todd (New Orleans, Louisiana). Here below are posted the first official photos of the event. More photos will soon be available for viewing.This selection of photos below was made by DonaldLeePhotography.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis
Four American Priests Ordained In St. Louis