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Ordinations in times of pandemic: Society of Jesus welcomes new priest and five deacons in Toronto

By Fr. Michael J. Rogers, S.J. | Photos by Michael Rosinski, S.J.

May 25, 2020 – In two of the more memorable and elegantly simple ceremonies in recent history, Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, ordained Christopher Kellerman, SJ (UCS), Trevor Rainwater, SJ (UMI), Oshish Tirkey, SJ (DAR), Jean Francky Guerrier, SJ (CAN), and Adam Lalonde, SJ (CAN), to the diaconate and Kevin Kelly, SJ (CAN), to the priesthood.  

Fr. Kevin Kelly, Adam Lalonde, Arch. Terrence Pendergast, Jean Francky Guerrier, and Fr. Michael Rosinski.

Christopher Kellerman, Arch. Terrence Pendergast, Oshish Tirkey, Fr. Michael Rosinski, and Trevor Rainwater

Due to the province of Ontario’s Covid-19 guidelines restricting gatherings to no more than five people, the ordinations took place in two separate live-streamed Masses in the morning and the afternoon of Saturday May 23rd in the empty Church of our Lady of Lourdes in Toronto. Both the ordaining prelate and the ordinandi wore masks and gloves during the ordination ritual and observed appropriate physical distance whenever possible.  


Arch. Predergast praying the Spirit to unite Fr. Kevin Kelly to Christ the priest

In his comments to the men being ordained Archbishop Prendergast spoke of the paradoxical joy of the resurrection in these difficult times and called the deacons being ordained to do the will of God from the heart, remembering that they are not only hearers of the Gospel but also its ministers by virtue of their ordination.  

To Kevin Kelly, on the day of his priestly ordination, Archbishop Prendergast offered the counsel that it is important to remember that priests are called from among the people of God for the service of all, “to seek out and save what was lost.” The archbishop reminded all of the ordinandi that those called to ordained ministry in the Church are called to love with the love of Christ and pointed to the example of selfless love and service shown by the Jesuits who recently volunteered for service in the Jesuit infirmary outside Toronto during the Covid-19 outbreak there.  

Archbishop Prendergast reminded the men to be ordained and their families and friends watching from home that: “No matter what our conditions – and many in our world are suffering much more than we from isolation and other restrictions – God offers us always the ‘paradoxical joy’ of the Risen Lord.” 

In an almost empty church, the ordinands prostrated on the ground while the Litany of the Saints was sung

Click here to view the video recordings of the ceremonies or access more photos below.


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