Salt Lake Diocese Celebrates Ordinations
Friday, Jul. 01, 2016
IC photo/Marie Mischel
Newly ordained Deacon Stephen Tilley looks on as Father Jorge Martinez takes his priestly vows in the Cathedral of the Madeleine on June 24. See additional photos on the Intermountain Catholic Facebook page.
SALT LAKE CITY — On June 24 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine it was standing-room only as the Diocese of Salt Lake City celebrated the Rite of Ordination for the Rev. Mr. Jorge Martinez Gómez and Mr. Stephen Tilley.
Fr. Martinez has been assigned as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish; Deacon Tilley will serve this summer at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish before returning to Rome to complete his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Officiating at the ceremony was the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, who was the ninth Bishop of Salt Lake City.
Archbishop Wester welcomed everyone to the celebration.
“It’s a great day to be united in this beautiful church … to be able to have the great honor and to be able to ordain Stephen to deacon and Jorge to priest. Our Church in Salt Lake City rejoices in a particular way with the celebration of Sacrament of Holy Orders,” he said.
The Mass was concelebrated by Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, diocesan administrator; Father Jose Maria Barillas from Misantla, Mexico, Fr. Martinez’s hometown; Father Chris Arockiaraj, PSS from Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif., who was one of Fr. Martinez’s seminary teachers; Father Martin Diaz, pastor of the Cathedral of the Madeleine; and other priests of the diocese.
Among those in the congregation were Deacon Tilley’s mother and aunt, who flew from Germany to attend the celebration.
Fr. Martinez’s parents couldn’t be at the ceremony because their visa from Mexico was denied, but “we are with them in our hearts; they are here in spirit,” Archbishop Wester said.
The Rite of Ordination began after the Gospel was proclaimed. Deacon Tilley and Father Martinez were called forward to the altar, where Deacon Ricardo Arias, the diocesan vocation director, informed the archbishop that each man had expressed his resolve to carry out his office in accordance with the mind of Christ and of the Church under the direction of the bishop.
As Archbishop Wester elected Tilley to the Sacred Order of the Diaconate and elected Martinez to the priesthood, the people present in the assembly gave their consent by applauding.
“I believe I heard the church of Misantla clapping, too,” said Archbishop Wester.
In his homily following the Rite of Election, Archbishop Wester said two celebrations were underway that day: the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist and the ordinations, which “come together in a wonderful way. … As St. John the Baptist was dedicated from birth and gave his entire life to be witness to Jesus Christ, so you are called to announce the presence of Christ,” he said to Deacon Tilley and Fr. Martinez.
“Today you are called to follow Christ as priest and deacon, whose duty is to proclaim the Word and to call attention to the color and the light and the hope symbolized by the cathedral windows, symbolized by your willingness to the ministry,” said Archbishop Wester.
After the homily came the Examination of Candidates. After a series of questions by the archbishop to determine if the candidate was willing to discharge faithfully the office of priesthood, Fr. Martinez put his hands into the archbishop’s and promised respect and obedience to him as the Ordinary of the Diocese, and his successors.
The actual Sacrament of Holy Orders was conferred when Archbishop Wester placed his hands on the heads of Deacon Tilley and Fr. Martinez.
Next, was the Prayer of Consecration and the vesting in liturgical garb; Deacon Tilley’s mother and aunt helped him vest.
Father Eleazar Silva, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, assisted Father Martinez with the vesting.
Following was the anointing of Fr. Martinez’s hands and the presentation of gifts.
The ceremony was very emotional for Fr. Martinez and Deacon Tilley; both had tears of joy at different points during the ceremony.
The emotional ceremony also affected the congregation.
“I couldn’t hold my tears. It was beautiful to see how Fr. Martinez is now our priest,” said Martina Jimenez, a Saint Francis of Assisi parishioner.