Joy magnified at history-making ordinations
by Joe Bollig
OVERLAND PARK — The ordination of five men at Holy Spirit Parish here on June 18 was cause enough for joy, but that joy was magnified by a touch of tech.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann ordained four men priests and one a deacon — all members of the Apostles of the Interior Life — in a liturgy that was live-streamed over the Internet to family and friends in Italy.
Through the ancient and apostolic tradition of the laying on of hands, the archbishop ordained to the priesthood: Father Edward Ahn from Chicago; Father Vincent Huber from Leawood; Father Scott Kallal from Jerseyville, Ill.; and Father Mirco Sosio from Semogo, Italy.
Archbishop Naumann also ordained Deacon Alessandro Borraccia from Milan, Italy, to the diaconate.
The four men made history by becoming the first priests of the Apostles of the Interior Life, a public association of the faithful that was founded in Rome under the leadership of Father Salvatore Scorza.
The Apostles, because they do not as yet have the canonical status of a religious order, needed the assistance of a friendly diocese, and hence the special relationship with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
“In the church’s wisdom, gained from centuries of experience, it is not possible for the Apostles of the Interior Life to have men ordained for their community per se,” said Archbishop Naumann in his homily.
“In these circumstances, it is necessary to find a benevolent diocese to ordain men as priests and deacons,” he continued, “who ‘belong’ to the diocese and who owe obedience to the diocesan bishop, but who are ordained with the understanding that they will be given the opportunity to pursue living the charism and the common life of their religious community.”
The five men were in Rome until a week before their ordinations. They will stay in the archdiocese until the end of September, but will then return to Rome to complete their studies.
“When we began our journey together, we didn’t know when it would happen,” said Father Vince Huber, a 2000 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park.
“At the beginning of the community, we fell in love with its charism and felt a desire to follow it and the spirituality of God’s call,” he continued. “But at the same time, we had very few guarantees for the future. So, to see God’s promise come to fruition is very rewarding and very beautiful.”
In his homily, the archbishop thanked the families of the ordinandi for their formative roles.
“Each of them has been given the great grace because of the faith of their parents to grow up in a strong and believing family where the faith was celebrated and lived,” said the archbishop.
“They have received the beautiful example of parents, faithfully living their marriage vows,” he continued. “They have seen in the lives of their parents what God’s grace can accomplish in those who surrender their lives to Our Lord and seek to follow him on the path of heroic love.”
Archbishop Naumann was the ordaining minister and celebrant. He was joined at the altar by Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher; Father Salvatore Scorza, the founder of the Apostles; Msgr. Stewart Swetland from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.; Father Tony Dittmer, from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn.; Father Stephen Sotiroff, from the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.; and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, from the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.
Father Huber was vested by Father Francis Hund; Father Kallal was vested by Father Patrick Gibbons from the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.; Father Ahn was vested by Father Dittmer; Father Sosio was vested by Father Scorza; and Deacon Borraccia was vested by Father Sotiroff.
Each Apostle received an assignment for the balance of his time in the archdiocese. Father Huber was assigned as parochial vicar at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center in Lawrence; Father Kallal, parochial vicar at Ascension Parish in Overland Park; Father Ahn, parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kan.; and Father Sosio, parochial vicar at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Kansas City, Kan.
Deacon Borraccia is also assigned to St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kan.