Well this was more like it.
A year after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic nearly scrubbed the ordination of a class of four priests to the Diocese of Orange, Christ Cathedral officially fully reopened on Saturday, June 12, by admitting three new fathers into the fold.
Churchgoers were on hand to welcome newly ordained fathers Cheeyoon Chun, Michael Fitzpatrick and Brandon Lopez into the priesthood.
A main event on the annual calendar, this year’s ordination drew throngs to the 10 a.m. service. By 9 a.m., a line snaked around the cathedral in a multi-cultural mélange of knights and nuns, priest and parishioners….
For Cathy Fitzpatrick, the ordination of her son was the fulfillment of a promise made more than 31 years ago.
Cathy recalled she was in a prayer over the crib of her infant son, whom she and her husband, Mike, had adopted from Seoul, South Korea. That’s when, she says, God spoke to her.
“‘This one will be my priest,’” the Lord told me,” she said.
On Fr. Michael’s 32nd birthday, the proclamation came true.
He will return to Rome, Italy, for a license in spiritual theology and then receive his parish assignment.
“I hope I can teach parishioners how to pray,” he said.
Eventually he would like to teach in a Catholic school or seminary.
Father Cheeyoon, 35, had a slightly longer path to the priesthood, after earning a master’s degree and starting a career as an architectural designer.
“I have the usual story; I got a whisper in my ear,” he says of his calling. “I was content, but the idea of being a priest seemed so right.”
Added inspiration came from his younger sister, Yeeyoon Chun, when she became a nun with Our Lady of Perpetual Health in South Korea.
“She’s been a huge influence on me. She’s my first spiritual influencer,” he said. “She’s always been smarter than me….”
In particular, before the Mass Fr. Cheeyoon said he was looking forward to the litany of saints, when the new priests lie prostrate before the altar.
“It symbolizes the dying of the self, giving your life to God and calling on the saints.”
Fr. Cheeyoon is assigned to Holy Family Church in Orange.
Fr. Brandon had been chomping on the bit through his diaconate year. During his final year at St. John Seminary, Fr. Brandon said he would return to St. Pius V in Buena Park to participate in baptisms, funerals and whatever else he could do.
“I’m looking forward to doing first blessings and confessions,” Fr. Brandon said. “To be able to execute the sacraments and bring our people back, that’s what I look forward to most.”
Fr. Brandon will start at St. Pius V….
The above comes from a July 10 story in OC Catholic.