On Saturday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m., Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, will ordain to the priesthood Rev. Mr. John Rapisarda, 31, of Bel Air. The Mass of Ordination will take place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.
John is a graduate of The John Carroll School in Bel Air and of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2000. He studied for the priesthood at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. before finishing his seminary training at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg.
John’s father, Greg, was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2003 and serves at St. Margaret’s in Bel Air. It is believed to be the first time that a deacon’s son has been ordained to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. John is one of four children of Greg and Carol Rapisarda (deceased).
The Mass of Ordination is rich in Catholic tradition and very visual: the new candidate for priesthood is presented to the bishop who asks about their intentions and worthiness to be ordained. The ceremony continues with the candidate prostrating himself while the congregation chants the Litany of Saints. Immediately following, the bishop through the ancient sign of ordination confers priesthood by laying hands on the candidate. Each priest present also lays his hands on the candidate. The new priest is then vested in a stole and a chasuble (symbols of the priestly office) followed by the bishop presenting the bread and a chalice filled with wine, which is offered and consecrated at this Ordination Mass, the new priest’s first Mass.
It is requested that members of the media covering the event dress in appropriate attire. Photographers will be given access via the side aisles and balconies of the Basilica. So as not to obstruct the view of those in attendance, photographers will not be allowed in the center aisle, sanctuary (altar area), or the area in front of the altar.