Five new priests have been assigned to churches in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese after a traditional ordination mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Saturday.
The five new priests are Rev. Patrick Harke, Rev. Jay Horning, Rev. David Huneck, Rev. Nathan Maskal and Rev. Thomas Zehr.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades presided over the mass which conferred the five, four of which graduated Bishop Dwenger High School together in 2009.
“Having this culmination of seminary formation and being ordained to the priesthood to be able to serve God’s people is remarkable,” Horning said.
“It’s going to be very humbling to know that I’m responsible for the care of people’s souls,” Huneck added. “I’m there to help them love Christ and ultimately get them to Heaven. That’s a great responsibility.”
“Priests don’t show up out of nowhere,” Hake explained. “There’s always a family behind them… a church behind them. We are like the fruit planted years ago, by our parents, by our friends, by our family, It’s awesome seeing this fruit being reaped.”
“We’ve done it a lot in our classroom,” Maskal said. “A lot in artificial settings where we’ve been laughing at our classmates and things like that, but now to put it into practice as a priest will be truly exciting… a little bit sobering, very serious, but very fun times for us as well.”
“We entered seminary and took the plunge and haven’t turned back since,Zehr added. “Ups and downs of course. You’d have a tough year and difficulties would arise but every year there has been something that affirmed and confirmed my vocation towards priesthood, which has been really great.”
Watch the video above for highlights from Saturday’s mass.