SASKATOON — A new priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon was ordained June 19 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.
Rev. Gregory Smith-Windsor of Saskatoon was ordained by Bishop Donald Bolen in a joyful celebration that included family, friends and clergy from the Diocese of Saskatoon and beyond.
Diocesan director of seminarians, Rev. Gerard Cooper, presented Smith-Windsor for ordination and asked Rev. Stevan Wlusek, rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. to provide testimony about the candidate.
Wlusek described Smith-Windsor’s zeal, joyful demeanour and evangelizing spirit. During his time at the seminary he served the homeless at a downtown hospitality centre, spent time with the local L’Arche community and spent a summer working with Catholic Christian Outreach. Smith-Windsor’s year of pastoral internship was spent at St. Patrick Parish in Saskatoon, where he was ordained deacon last year.
“He has manifested a strong prayer life throughout his years of seminary formation and his deep love for Jesus, and Jesus’ Blessed Mother,” said Wlusek.
In his homily, Bolen cited Smith-Windsor’s own testimony at a prayer vigil the evening before the ordination. At university the young man was touched by the words of a visiting Jesuit priest about the self-gift lived out through celibate priesthood.
“Priests don’t necessarily have their ego and their self-interest pulled out of them in the way that parents do by necessity, looking after their kids,” noted Bolen, “So we have to do it by entering deeply into other lives and allowing God to do that work.”
Bolen pointed to the moment in the eucharistic celebration when the priest takes the Body of Christ and breaks it for the community. “Be mindful of the depths of that mystery — that the God who comes to dwell in our midst, who desires to give of self to us, who somehow allows us the privilege to put himself in our hands, so that as we break him for others, and others receive the balm and the mercy of that breaking,” he said. “And of course you are invited to change parts — to let the Lord take you in his hands and to break you so that balm and mercy might be poured down on others through your life.”
Bolen urged Smith-Windsor to “stay centred at what truly is at the heart of things . . . find a thousand different ways to speak of the incarnation and the Paschal Mystery . . . stay centred in your ministry on God’s love, centred on God’s boundless outpouring of mercy.”
The rite of ordination continued with Smith-Windsor declaring his intention to care for God’s people, promising to serve faithfully and reverently, and pledging obedience to the bishop and his successors.
As a sign of surrender to God, Smith-Windsor lay prostrate on the floor in front of the altar while the assembly prayed for the intercession of the saints and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The bishop then conferred ordination by laying his hands upon the head of Smith-Windsor, a gesture repeated by the priests present at the celebration, as a sign of unity and shared spirit.
After a prayer of consecration by the bishop, Smith-Windsor was vested with the stole (a sign of the priestly office) and the chasuble (the eucharistic vestment), assisted by Rev. Kevin McGee and Rev. Geoffrey Young.
The bishop presented a chalice and paten to the newly ordained priest, with the words: “Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.” Smith-Windsor then joined the bishop and priests at the altar to celebrate the eucharist.
Smith-Windsor will be serving as associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Holy Family Parish in Saskatoon, with pastor Rev. David Tumback.