JACKSON – Three deacons, Binh Nguyen, José de Jesús Sánchez, and Rusty Vincent, will be ordained priests for the Diocese of Jackson by Bishop Joseph Kopacz on Saturday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle.
This is the first year in several that the diocese will ordain more than one man for the priesthood. It is also the most diverse class to be ordained in decades. Nguyen is from Vietnam, Sánchez is from Mexico and Vincent is homegrown.
The young men have been preparing for priesthood through years of studies at St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict, La., and then at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. Nguyen and Sánchez began their studies in their home countries and came to St. Joseph for further studies in English and philosophy. Vincent, who was born in Baton Rouge, calls Pearl St. Jude Parish his home.
During the summers of their seminary days, each man served in different parish assignments and received pastoral training. They also completed training in hospital ministry.
At the ordination, each man will be presented to the church, make promises of obedience to the bishop and his successors, lie prostrate for the litany of saints, kneel for the laying on of hands by all priests present, have his hands anointed with Sacred Chrism, then be vested with chasuble and stole.
After this they will concelebrate the Mass with Bishop Kopacz. The next day, each will celebrate his first Mass as a priest.
Once ordained the new priests will be given assignments as associate pastors in parishes where they will gain valuable experience in being pastors from priest mentors. This period of their priesthood usually lasts a few years and then they would be named pastors of a parish in the diocese.
Look for a special issue of Mississippi Catholic dedicated to the ordinations in June. Bishop Kopacz invites the faithful to participate in the ordination through prayer and if possible presence at the Mass.