Seminarian, Deacon Benjamin Garcia ordained a Catholic priest
During a June 17, 2017 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl ordained four new priests for the Archdiocese of Washington: Father Andrew Wakefield, Father Benjamín García Domínguez, Father Robert Kilner, and Father Jorge Ernesto Ubau López. Cardinal Wuerl was joined by Washington Auxiliary Bishops Barry Knestout, Mario Dorsonville, and Roy Campbell; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington; and about 120 concelebrating priests.
Sir Knight Benjamin Garcia was sponsored by Council 6901 throughout his studies in the seminary. Now, Father Garcia – is one of three members of the first ordination class for the Saint John Paul II Seminary in Washington, which Cardinal Wuerl founded in 2011. Following the homily, those three men and Father Ubau individually knelt before the cardinal to promise respect and obedience to him and his successors.
The congregation, which included about 2,000 people, then sang a Litany of the Saints, while the four men lay prostrate on the ground, which the cardinal noted symbolizes their total giving of self and echoes Jesus’ words, “No one takes my life from me. I freely lay it down.”
The focal point of the ordination Mass, the cardinal said, is the laying on of hands, which follows the litany. Each priest to be ordained once again individually knelt before the cardinal, who silently placed his hands upon each man’s head and asked the Holy Spirit to fill them with wisdom and grace. Then, all the priests processed past them, individually laying their hands upon their heads. Afterward, the cardinal said a prayer of ordination, and the new priests were all vested with a stole and chasuble, assisted by a priest whom they had chosen.
The cardinal then anointed the hands of the newly ordained with chrism, and presented them with the bread and wine as a sign of presiding at the Eucharist. Then, he gave each of them a sign of peace, which was also offered to them by their brother priests, and the newly ordained priests remained at the altar to celebrate the Eucharist for the first time.
Following the ordination Mass, the congregation lined up to receive blessings from the newly ordained priests.
In the chapel where newly ordained Father García was giving blessings, many parishioners of St. Bartholomew Parish in Bethesda gathered to greet him, as he had served there in recent years as a seminarian. “What a blessing for our parish,” said Lucy Yepez. “He is very much loved by everybody.”
After blessing the people who had lined up to congratulate him and receive his blessing, Father García said that his prayer before and during and now after his ordination has been to be “one with Christ. It is He who asked, He who does, and He who guides,” the new priest said.
Council 6901 now looks forward to supporting another seminarian as he forms his life in the ways established by Jesus Christ.