Ordination of Father Scott Kady
St. Peter Parish, Westernport
June 19, 2021
Priesthood ordinations are always days of special joy and grace, but this priestly ordination has a joy and warmth all its own. For today, I will ordain to the holy priesthood Scott Kady, a native son of St. Peter Parish here in Westernport.
Scott is by no means the first priestly vocation from this parish. Over time, St. Peter Parish has given twenty priests to the service of the Church, and forty-two years ago, Msgr. Rick Woy, a native son of this parish, was ordained to the holy priesthood by my predecessor, Archbishop Borders.
So, Scott, you are not only priestly vocation from this parish or the only one to be ordained here at St. Peter’s – but you are the latest!
So today, we rejoice and give thanks, even as we pray that Mountain Maryland will continue to provide many more priestly vocations for the Church in the years ahead.
Now, Scott, on the cusp of your priestly ordination, let me reflect with you on the Scripture readings you chose, readings which speak of your awareness that you are being ordained into a presbyterate, a collegium of priests, and that with me and your brother priests you are to emulate the Good Shepherd in serving and caring for the people to whom you shall be sent.
Numbers 11:11b-12, 14-17, 24-25a
In today’s reading from the Book of Numbers, we encounter Moses and the people of Israel in the desert. Things are not going well. The people are discontent. God is displeased. Moses is finding his job next to impossible and so he cries out to God for help. In his largesse, God sends him seventy helpers, who share in the same Spirit that animates Moses himself.
Far be it from me to compare myself to Moses, but in the solemn prayer of priestly ordination, I shall pray as did Moses:
“We beseech you, Lord, in our weakness, to grant us this helper that we need to exercise the priesthood that comes from the Apostles.”
In these days rife with challenge, in these days when so many people are agitated, in these days when God’s judgment upon his Church looms large, yes, I need you, Scott, as my helper, and I need you to be one with your fellow presbyters, my co-workers in the truth, with whom I am privileged to serve the People of God.
For that reason, I shall call down the Holy Spirit upon you, and by the prayer of the Church, the laying on of my hands, and the anointing with Chrism, you shall be sacramentally conformed to the living image of Christ, the Head, Shepherd, and Spouse of the Holy Church of God. Ordained a priest, you will become a part of the Presbyteral Order in our local church.
I need not remind you, Scott, of the importance of priestly fraternity. For some, these words may conjure up the notion of a self-referential ‘clerical club.’ But true priestly fraternity finds its source in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is rooted in prayer and authentic friendship, and its overarching goal is to unite in carrying out the Church’s mission in the Spirit of the Good Shepherd – the Church’s mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God, to celebrate the sacraments, and to respond to a multitude of pastoral needs with true & authentic pastoral charity.
Left to ourselves, none of us, Scott, can sustain the challenges of pastoral ministry. Rather, our ministry is most effective when we are of one mind and heart, when we are praying together, working together, and dialoging with one another. Then is when we give the Spirit whom we share a chance to work in us and thru us.
1 Peter 5:1-4 – John 10:11-16
So it is that I can repeat the words of St. Peter in today’s second reading, “I exhort the presbyters among you, as fellow presbyter . . . : Tend the flock of God in your midst . . . .”
On this day of your priestly ordination, I echo St. Peter’s exhortation. Give to the people whom you serve the care of an authentic and loving shepherd. And while there are a variety legitimate ways of living out the priesthood, in truth there is only One Shepherd who is the origin and model of our priesthood, One Shepherd in whose priesthood we participate sacramentally.
This Shepherd willingly laid down his life for us, for his flock, his sheep. Far from fleeing the wolf, that is to say, the evil one and evil of which we are capable, the Good Shepherd stood in the breach and rescued us from sin and death. Far from demanding payment in fulfillment this onerous task, the Lord gave his life freely for us, in obedience to his Father’s saving will, pouring forth his life and love for us on the Cross for the remission of our sins.
Indeed, our Savior has redeemed us at the price of his precious Blood! This Shepherd knows us, loves us, and cares for us, calling us by name. This Shepherd seeks to unite us in truth and love into a single flock. Now, and in the days to come, Scott, let the radiance of the Good Shepherd’s love shine in your heart!
To know ever more intimately the Good Shepherd, in whose Person who will minister, let me suggest that you do three things each day:
First, you must listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd in silent prayer. Indeed, the root of the word “obedience” is “ob – audiere” – to listen. The Lord speaks to us in many ways, especially in the proclamation of Scripture, but it is in daily silent prayer that you encounter the Person of Jesus, the Shepherd.
As his heart speaks to yours and as you listen to him attentively, you will more and more become that shepherd who oversees “the flock of God… not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful profit, but eagerly… [not lording] it over those assigned to you, but [serving as an example] to the flock.”
Second, you must listen to the voice of the people whom you serve. Just as the Good Shepherd knows us better than we know ourselves, so too, as shepherds in his image we are called to know and love our people. The only way we can do this is by reaching out to them, listening to them, and doing so even when we are tired, even when it seems that the impossible is being asked of us.
Listening to our people does not mean that we “go along to get along,” but rather that we, together, discern with our people what is right and good and true, based not on ideology or opinion but on God’s Word as it comes to us thru the Church.
Third, you must ensure that the Mass, the Eucharistic liturgy is the center of your life. Most every priest, myself included, truly finds joy in the celebration of Holy Mass, but let us make sure that our joy is not merely a matter of human praise.
Rather, let us, like Mary, find joy in God our Savior. Let us find our joy in the Shepherd who loves us with an eternal love
and in the mystery of our calling to reenact his sacrifice of love so that we and his flock might share the bread of angels, the medicine of immorality, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. “Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.”
Thus, you also will be a good shepherd.
The Prayers of Mary
Finally, I entrust you and your priestly ministry to the Virgin Mother of God. May she watch over you, protect and console you in her maternal love, and as the Lord’s first and best disciple, lead you daily to Jesus, the Good Shepherd and lover of our souls.
God bless you, Scott, and keep you always in his love!