Ordination Week: The Man on Deck

Author: Mr. Matthew Kuczora, C.S.C.

Fr John Britto and Fr Paul Ybarra's Ordination Mass

Like all good things, our exclusive coverage of Ordination Week, must come to an end.  (For those of you looking for Fr. Eric Schimmel's montly blog Sermon on the Street, we have moved that to Thursday this week to give his post its own moment in the sun, which it deserves.)  We here at the Spes Unica blog thought there was no better way to close our coverage than to hear from the man who is now truly on deck in the ordination circle, Mr. Matt Kuczora, C.S.C.  Earlier this year, we shared the powerful reflection he gave at the Vocation Night at Corby Hall.  Now, complete with pictures from this year's ordination, we share his reflections on being up next!

The on-deck circle is an interesting vantage point.  In baseball, you’re as close to home plate as anybody else in the stadium beside the hitter, catcher and umpire.  Barring some offensive disaster, you are the next man up to bat.  Well, far from grounding into a double play, Father Paul Ybarra, c.s.c., and Father John Britto, c.s.c, hit grand slams on Saturday and I was inspired to watch it.  From the on-deck circle, I saw Fr. Paul and Fr. John Britto dedicate their lives to serving God and neighbor, to make God present in our world.  I think that’s what all the ministry, prayer and service we do is all about:  making God present in our world.  Priests do that in a very special way through the sacraments, our ministry and the witness of our lives devoted to God and all God’s people.

Rev Paul M Ybarra, CSC Ordination

This summer I’ll leave for Monterrey, Mexico to begin my first assignment.  I’ll be there for my diaconate year and the first few years as a priest, working in our parish and our formation program there.  It’s a humbling thing thinking about doing ministry in another country and another language, not to mention a situation of escalating violence that affects so many people’s lives.  It’s a tremendous struggle to help people find God, to make God present, in lives so burdened by poverty, violence and lack of opportunities, but watching my brothers in Holy Cross be ordained gave me strength for my journey and encouraged me to do the same.  Like the Litany of Saints we sang over these men asking for their blessing, I know both Paul and John, and everyone in Holy Cross, will be there to support me in Mexico and whatever else God calls me to in this life.  It was a very peaceful, reassuring experience.

Rev John Britto Antony, CSC Ordination

As I start to stride to the plate, I think of all the joyful ministries I’ve done, the wonderful people I’ve met and the struggles, challenges and disappointments along the way.  I carry all these in my heart as I tap the plate with my bat and dig in to the batter’s box.  I know when my turn comes around next April, God will be with me.  For now my heart is at peace as I take the next step to make God present in the world as a priest and religious in the Congregation of Holy Cross.

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