Thursday, June 25, 2009

A New Priest in St. John's, Newfoundland

A great sign of hope has taken place in Newfoundland. Philip Melvin, a 30-year old Mobile, Newfoundland & Labrador native was ordained to the sacerdotal priesthood last night at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, appropriately on that saint's feast day, June 24, 2009. The ceremony was very beautiful. Many signs and symbols of an invisible reality were present. First, Philip's intentions, desire, and suitability to be a ministerial priest were confirmed by questions from the bishop. He was then ordained in the ancient custom of laying on of hands. After Archbishop Martin Currie laid his hands on Philip Melvin, the other priests (which seemed to number around 30 or 40) laid their hands on his head also and gave him their blessing.

Later, the archbishop blessed the hands of this new priest with holy chrism. This is to symbolize that Philip's hands will now be used to perform sacred mysteries, or sacraments. These hands will hold the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, they will be laid on the heads of penitents, these hands will touch a child's head as he is being baptized, they will give blessings to those who are ill. These hands are now holy hands, and holy oil is a most appropriate sign of this.

Philip Melvin promised to remain faithful to his vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Many do not understand how someone can do this, but Christ reassures those who do. He says those who can give up marriage for the kingdom of God should do so and are blessed. Paul also recommends celibacy for those who find it possible. We must remember that God's ways are not our ways.

After Philip was ordained, there was a reception at St. Bonaventure's College, located right next to the Basilica. There was a large crowd, including many priests and seminarians. I met up with a friend I met 2 years ago, Francis Zambon. I met him at the Youth Summit in Quebec City, which was a preparatory event for the Eucharistic Congress in the same city one year later. He and several other seminaries are staying at St. Teresa's church, my home church, in St. John's.

Let us all say a special prayer to strengthen Philip Melvin every day in his vocation to this most holy office. May his role as minister of God bring peace and joy to everyone he comes into contact with.


  1. Plus you met a new friend from St. Teresas who is a big fan of your blog!!

  2. Thank you Anonymous Fan!! Too bad you're completely anonymous and I have absolutely no idea who you are!!!

  3. Make that two fan's from St. Teresa's!

    Kellie Ann

  4. I feel like when I leave the office today, I'll be swarmed by a mob of fans!