Scenes from the Ordination of the newest Marian priest

“I encourage you always to consecrate your priesthood to Mary under the mantle of her maternal loving care so she may guide you through your priestly ministry."

Father Stephen Castellano, MIC, was ordained to the priesthood for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception on May 18, the feast day  the feast day of the Marian Founder, St. Stanislaus Papczyński.

The ordination Mass was celebrated at Fr. Castellano's home parish, St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Most. Rev. Martin D. Holley, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Memphis, was the celebrant.

God is love
In his homily, Bishop Holley acknowledged that St. John Neumann is Fr. Castellano’s “spiritual home,” where he received the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation. “And it was here, in the Adoration Chapel, where the Lord put the idea of priesthood upon his heart,” he said. 

Pastoral charity guides the priest, the bishop noted, pointing to his own episcopal motto, Deus Caritas Est, “God is love.”

“A priest should be holy in order to lead the people of God to be holy,” the bishop continued. “See Our Lady as a true model of humility, obedience, and service. She said, 'May it be done to me according to your word.'” 

“I encourage you always to consecrate your priesthood to Mary under the mantle of her maternal loving care so she may guide you through your priestly ministry,” he advised.  

Scenes from the Ordination

Deacon Stephen lies prostrate before the altar, ecpressing his total submission to God, as the Litany of Supplication is sung, invoking the intercession of the Saints.
The Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC, Provincial Superior, offers his blessing.
Bishop Holley presents the chalice to Fr. Stephen, saying, "Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to Him. Know what you are doing, and imitate the mystery you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the Lord's cross."
The Bishop anoints the hands of the newly-ordained, praying, "May the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, guard and preserve you, that you may sanctify the Christian people and offer sacrifice to God." 
Father Andy Davy, congratulates his new brother priest. Saint John Neumann is also Fr. Andy's home parish.
The celebration of the Mass continues.
There is a special indulgence offered when receiving a newly-ordained priest's first blessing, subject to the usual conditions.
Father Stephen with his proud parents, Anthony (Tony) and Ellen Castellano, and Bishop Holley.
Newly-ordained Fr. Stephen celebrated his first solo Mass at St. John Neumann Church the following day, Sunday, May 19.

Photos by Mary Castellano, Fr. Stephen's sister.


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