The Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States celebrated the long-awaited Priestly Ordinations of Fr. Vincent Nguyen, C.S.C., Fr. M. Joseph Pedersen, C.S.C., Fr. Zachary Rathke, C.S.C., and Fr. Gilbrian Stoy, C.S.C. These men had professed their Final Vows on August 31, 2019, together with their classmate, Br. Joseph DeAgostino, C.S.C., in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. They were then ordained to the Diaconate the following day. Traditionally the United States Province, of which all four religious are members, celebrates its priestly ordinations on the first Saturday of Easter. This year the Ordination Mass had to be delayed due to coronavirus precautions.
After a wait of over four months then, on Saturday, September 5, 2020, once again at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders on Vincent, Joseph, Zachary, and Gilbrian. The celebration looked and felt a bit different this year, due to the precautions for the coronavirus, but it did not change the blessing these men bring to the Church or the spirit of Easter that permeated the Church during the celebration.
During the same Mass, Mr. David Smith, C.S.C., Mr. Geoffrey Mooney, C.S.C., Mr. Robert Lisowski, C.S.C., and Mr. Felipe Campos Reséndez, C.S.C., were ordained to the Diaconate. They had just taken Final Vows the day prior along with their classmate, Br. Pablo José Quan López, C.S.C.
Fr. William M. Lies, C.S.C., Superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, said, "I speak for our entire province when I say how delighted we are with these young men who have chosen to walk with us in Holy Cross. We welcome David, Geoffrey, Pablo, Robert, and Felipe home, and we congratulate our brothers Vincent, Joe, Zach, and Gil as they are ordained to the ministry of the priesthood." As our Constitution 2:20 says, 'Our mission is the Lord's and so is the strength for it. We turn to Him in prayer that He will clasp us more firmly to Himself and use our hands and wits to do the work that only He can do.' May it be true of these nine and of us all," he said.
The Ordination Mass is available for viewing on the YouTube page of the Province's Vocation Office.
Since their diaconate ordinations, these four men have been working in ministry placements. All but one of them now will continue to serve in those placements as newly ordained priests. Fr. Vincent continues at Holy Cross Parish in South Bend, Indiana. Fr. Joe enters his second year as rector at Siegfried Hall at the University of Notre Dame. Fr. Gil continues his ministry at Christ the King Parish in South Bend, Indiana. Fr. Zachary is the one who was reassigned for this year. After serving as a deacon at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas, he is now working as Associate Pastor at St. Adalbert / St. Casimir parishes in South Bend, Indiana.