This has been a special week for the Archdiocese of Dublin as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin ordained Father Frank Drescher to the priesthood in Saint Mary`s Pro-Cathedral on 14 September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
During his homily Archbishop Martin said, “I remember Frank the first time that we met. It was in a suburban parish and I noticed you as one of the few younger lay people present. You were a successful young man in a promising employment situation. Yet I learned that there was something in your heart that seemed to be asking you to move away from that worldly security and to take that leap of faith to serve the Lord.
“It is a challenging task, not least in the challenging times in which we live. I entrust you and your life to the Lord as you begin your ministry as a priest, just as I draw near the end of my ministry as Archbishop of Dublin and indeed towards the twilight of my life. You represent a new generation and I have confidence in your generation but I am also very much aware of the challenges you and the confreres of your generation face.”
Speaking on the kind of ministry Father Frank is likely to encounter, the Archbishop of Dublin said, “Frank you are called to be a priest and exercise your ministry in the culture of today. It is not that you simply align yourself with everything that is present in that culture. It is not that you reject modernity. It is not that you feel satisfied with vague cultural Catholicism. As priest, you are called, like Moses, to lead the men and women of our time, the men and women you will encounter, to look upwards and seek the signs of God’s presence that will lead them towards a path of life.
“You will not experience flash conversions. You must rather be one who accompanies and helps people to discern, and to discern every day, in a deeper and deeper manner. The priest must be one who can help the men and women of our time to seek the deeper meaning of life and within the ambiguities of modern life to find Jesus.”
In conclusion, Archbishop Martin said, “Frank, through ordination you will be conformed to Jesus and enabled to act in persona Christi in the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments and in preaching the Word of God. May the Lord accompany you in that ministry in the days and years to come. You will not carry out that ministry on your own. You will carry out that ministry within a Presbyterate, among your brother priests of this diocese. Get to know them and learn from them. We have every reason to be proud of our priests. They will welcome you and your talents.
“May you come daily though prayer ever closer to Jesus so that your ministry will not at a projection of self but a humble yet passionate service of the power that springs from of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Open yourself to that love. Practice it and share it with others. That love is what enables us in the face of change and challenge to have firm hope in the future of our diocese and our Church.”