Bishop Elizondo, Rev. Kyle Rink, +PDE, Rev. Maximilano Munoz, Bishop Schuster and Vocation Director, Rev. Justin Ryan

Congratulations to our two newest priests, Rev. Kyle Rink and Rev. Maximiliano Munoz! The cathedral was standing room only for this joyous occasion! 

The entire Ordination ceremony can be watched in the video below. The call to “Orders” and homily can be seen starting at the 53:00 minute mark. I have posted the homily below the video.

Good morning to all and welcome to this joyous celebration of ordination to the priesthood!

We welcome in a special way the two young men who are to be ordained, Maximilian Munoz and Kyle Rink. We also want to welcome your families and friends. Special acknowledgement goes to Bob and Stacia Rink, parents of Kyle as well as to their children, Andrew, Mikaela, and Kaitlin. Also, we welcome Maximilian’s grandmother, or abuela, Natividad, and Max’s brother and his fiancé; Cristobal and Lucia, as well as his cousin, Matteo. Family plays such a unique and special role in every life of faith and vocation, and we express our gratitude to each of you and the roles you play in supporting the priestly vocations of Max and Kyle.

We also welcome Seminary representatives: Fr. Stephen Clovis and Fr. William Dillard from Mt. Angel, and Fr. John Guthrie and Ms. Linda Cerabona from Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. In addition, we want to acknowledge another visiting priest, Fr. Radmar (How), S.J. who is one of the vesting priests for Kyle.

Welcome one and all!

Kyle and Max:

As you are now to be advanced to the Order of Priests, it is necessary to reflect upon the nature of Priesthood. There is only one great Priest, Jesus Christ, and all other priests share in Jesus’ one priesthood. Jesus himself, sent by the Father, sent the Apostles into the world to continue his ministry by exercising his office of Teacher, Priest and Shepherd. The Rite of Ordination and the teachings of the Church rightly call priests co-workers of the Order of Bishops.

Priests as co-workers with the Bishops continue the ministry of Jesus. In other words, they are entrusted in a unique way with the great commission Jesus gave the Apostles at Pentecost: “Go into the world and proclaim the Good News. Baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mathew 28) Be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Acts of the Apostles makes it clear that the Holy Spirit was the driving force which transformed the Apostles after the resurrection. The Holy Spirit transformed their doubt into faith, confusion into conviction, fear into courage and timidity into bold action. Recognize that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that allows every priest to exercise his ministry.

In the Gospel you chose for today’s ordination, Jesus speaks with his apostles before his passion and death. In this priestly prayer of Jesus, he asks the Father to consecrate them in truth, (John 17) to consecrate them for the work of ministry, as St. Paul says: “to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, … to attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God … to the extent of the full stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4: 12–14)

This is a great theological understanding of the priesthood, to build up the body of Christ that is the Church, to help the baptized, the People of God, to reach their full maturity in Christ.

In a few moments, Kyle and Max, each of you will be anointed with the Sacred Chrism. This is a solemn moment in which each priest is consecrated for service to the people of God. As the Father anointed Jesus the Son with the Holy Spirit and power you are anointed so that you may effectively carry out the work of Christ in the Church and world today.

In her book: Priests of Christ, Blessed Concepcion Cabrera de Armida begins with these words:

In order to bring about this ideal that My beloved Father has for My priests, the action of the Holy Spirit is necessary as the essential and powerful mover force. The Holy Spirit and only He, can renew the face of the earth and unite hearts with the Word, because He is the ineffable bond of love between the Father and the Son. He is the one who unifies the Church, because He unifies the Trinity in Love. He is the one who simplifies, because He is Unity in His very essence. He is Unity because He is Love. (p. 2)

As a young priest myself, I developed a prayer of my own, which I pray at each Mass before the Gospel is proclaimed: “Come Holy Spirit and renew your Church. Inspire those who preach the Gospel.”

I am convinced the Holy Spirit is at work renewing the Church today. What an exciting time to be ordained a priest, as we are in the midst of a universal Synod on synodality and as we are on the cusp of implementing Partners in the Gospel in this Archdiocese. Pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church today. (Revelation 2:7) As priests, yes, we have a unique and formal responsibility to proclaim the Gospel but recognize that all the baptized share in this co-responsibility for the mission of the Church. Part of the role of priests is to recognize the gifts of each of the baptized and empower them to exercise those gifts for building up the Body of Christ. Be builders of unity and community in the midst of the great diversity that is the Church.

Grow in love with God – always. Learn and live the truth of the words of the psalmist: O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. (Psalm 63)

As we know and believe, our God is a Trinity of Persons. A mature Christian life grows in relationship with each person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Make this a practical effort and reality in your spiritual lives, to know the will of the Father, by your love for Christ, animated by your sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Stay close to Christ – grow in intimacy and love with the Lord Jesus each and every day. Christ is the source of fruitfulness in priestly ministry. It is Christ who reveals the Father and Christ who bestows the Holy Spirit. Enter into the heart of Christ that you may know his love and that his love for all God’s people may be known through you.

Nurture your relationship with the Holy Spirit that your own evangelization may be ‘fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit”, that you may “proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness (parrhesia)”. (see The Joy of the Gospel, #259)

My brothers, the core of every Christian vocation, especially that of priesthood, is to make a generous gift of yourself in the model of Christ. Do not be sparing in sharing of yourself with God’s people. Also know that your love for the People of God is a door to growing in the knowledge of God. As Pope Francis stated in The Joy of the Gospel: “Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God.” (EG #272) Priesthood is primarily about service rooted in love.

My final word of advice is to remain close to the Blessed Mother. Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (as well as the 174th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Seattle!) Know that Mary has been coming to the aid of each believer ever since that visit to Elizabeth. She will always draw near to you, especially in times of need, to provide a way forward no matter how dark things may be. Implore her intercession at all times, and watch in wonder as she will never leave you unaided!

Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of Evangelization,

Pray for us.