Catholic Courier Diocese of Rochester, NY September 2015
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Mike Latona/ Catholic Courier ROCHESTER - Back on June 20, the focus at Sacred Heart Cathe- dral leaned heavily toward fathers. It was the day before Father's Day, and three men acquired the title of Father by being ordained to the diocesan priesthood. Jumping ahead two months - for a second ordination Mass that hadn't originally been scheduled - moth- ers emerged as the dominant theme. The latter ordination fell on Aug. 15 - the Solemnity of the Assump- tion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the feast day for the greatest mother of all. That morning, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano ordained Father Daniel Ruiz at Sacred Heart. It was Father Ruiz's own mother who factored heavily in the schedul- ing of his ordination Mass. He was originally set to be ordained June 20 along with Fathers Carlos Sanchez, Michael Fowler and Matthew Jones. However, Father Ruiz was called home to his native Colombia just days before the ordination because his mom, Luz Sierra, was seriously ill with bacterial pneumonia and not expected to survive. His mother's health has im- proved dramatically - she is ex- pected to make a full recovery, in fact - so Father Ruiz, 34, was able to return to the United States for his ordination on a joyful note. "A lot of people were praying, and God was listening," Father Ruiz told the Catholic Courier following the ordination Mass. Father Ruiz's father, Joaquin Ruiz; brother, Simon; and two aunts were on hand Aug. 15, having trav- eled to Rochester from the Colom- bian city of Medellin. Although Luz Sierra was not well enough to leave Colombia, the ordination Mass was streamed by satellite so she could watch back home. Father Ruiz not- ed that the diocesan Department of Information Technology made the transmission possible. Bishop Matano singled out Fa- ther Ruiz's mother during his open- ing remarks, saying, "We pray that the joy of this day will truly add to her recuperation." He went on to pay extensive homage to the Blessed Mother during his homily, and then remarked after Commu- nion, "I could give to Mary on the feast of her solemnity no greater gift than a priest to continue the work of her son, Jesus Christ." Also present at Sacred Heart on Aug. 15 were Father Ruiz's three newly ordained classmates - Fa- thers Sanchez, Fowler and Jones - along with many other priests as well as deacons, seminarians and other friends. Fathers Ruiz and Sanchez, who both attended seminary at Catholic University of America's Theologi- cal College in Washington, D.C., are among several Colombians who came to the Diocese of Rochester in recent years to study for the priesthood. Thanks to a special arrangement with the Archdiocese of Medellin, all these men will serve their entire priestly min- istries in this diocese. Father Ruiz said his first Mass on Aug. 16, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Brighton. He served his pastoral year there as well as at St. Thomas More, also in Brighton. Now it's on to his first priestly assignment - as parochial vicar at St. Benedict Parish in Canandaigua and East Bloomfield. He acknowledged that the past couple of months have been a whirlwind of unexpected emotions, stress and traveling. After greeting several dozen well-wishers in the cathedral narthex following Mass, Father Ruiz was asked how he felt now that the ordination had finally taken place. After a pause, he of- fered a succinct reply: "Like I'm finally home."
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On the cover
A priest lays his hands on the head of Father Daniel Ruiz during the Aug. 15 ordi- nation Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral. (Courier photo by Jeff Witherow)
Courier photo by Jeff Witherow
Bishop Salvatore R. Matano receives a blessing from Father Daniel Ruiz (center) at the end of the Aug. 15 ordination Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.Previous Page