Catholic Courier Diocese of Rochester, NY July 2016
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Annette Jimnez/ Catholic Courier ROCHESTER - While kneeling on the floor of Sacred Heart Cathe- dral during his June 4 ordination, Father Justin Miller shed tears of joy as his fellow priests laid their hands on him "I wanted their blessing," he re- called feeling in that moment, which he described as "very, very moving." Bishop Salvatore R. Matano or- dained Father Miller alongside Fa- ther Jorge Ramrez and Father Janier "Erick" Viloria as new priests of the Diocese of Rochester during the June 4 Mass. Father Ramrez said he felt grateful that his two brothers and other family members traveled from Colombia to share in his spe- cial day. He also experienced an emotional moment when he looked around the church and saw two empty chairs and thought of his de- ceased parents filling them. "I felt spiritually that they were here with me," Father Ramrez said. While Father Viloria's family members from Colombia were not able to attend, several close friends did make the trip, and he also was surrounded by friends from the diocesan parishes in which he has worked. Father Viloria, 35, said he was overcome with emotion as he felt the support not only from his friends and parish communities but from the entire congregation as it broke out in applause after the three men were ordained. "I was feeling the love of the peo- ple," he said. He said he also felt a sense of peace when the moment of ordina- tion arrived after all the waiting and preparation to get to this day. "When I went to sit down in the chair (on the altar) after the ordina- tion and looked out at the church, you work hard and I can't believe I was sitting down as a priest," said Father Viloria, who was recently appointed parochial vicar for Ss. Mary and Martha Church in Auburn. "The Lord gives me his community to serve now. That was a powerful moment." The moment the new priests con- celebrated Mass alongside Bishop Matano and Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark was profound for Father Miller, 30. "For the first time, we hold our hands out to say the words of consecration, I was very much trembling," added Father Miller, who will begin his ministry as parochial vicar at St. Joseph and Holy Spirit parishes in Penfield. Father Ramrez, 35, said the anointing of hands that allowed the new priests to offer that consecra- tion stood out for him. "For me, it is priest to share this bread of life, receive Jesus in the most holy sacrament we have," said Father Ramrez, who will now serve as parochial vicar for Holy Cross Church in Rochester. In his homily, Bishop Matano spoke of the sacrifice of the Eu- charist. "The sacrifice of Calvary is the sacrifice of the Mass," he said. "This is my body given for you. This is my blood poured out for you. From the table of the Last Supper, we proceed to the altar of Golgotha. There, the sacrifice is complete to be represented in every age." To close his homily, he reminded the newly ordained priests of the words Pope Francis spoke during a recent Mass of ordination. "Always remember the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve and to seek out those who were lost," the bishop said. Father Viloria's friend, Frei Yepes, who attended the ordination Mass, said he believes God called Father Viloria to serve the people of the Rochester Diocese. "The Lord brought him here to be a good shepherd," he noted. Father Ramrez's aunt, Solangela Velsquez Cardona, said she was grateful to the Lord that she was able to witness both his ordination as transitional deacon and as a priest. "I don't have words to express the happiness I feel that finally he reached his lifelong dream," she said. Father Miller's parents, Carol and Milan Miller of Springville, said they also felt joy and pride for their son. More than 60 family members, including six siblings, al- so attended the ordination. "He has pursued this with so much eagerness and ambition and faith," said his mother. "He's had a lot of people who helped him along the way," his fa- ther added. "We are glad they could all be here to share in this begin- ning."
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Courier photo by Mike Crupi
Diocesan priests lay their hands on the heads of Fathers Justin Miller (foreground), Jorge Ramrez (center) and Janier "Erick" Viloria (back- ground) during the June 4 ordination Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.Previous Page