Yesterday we had the joy of welcoming Fr. Michael Barone, a newly ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Newark. Father Barone came to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving and to give us his "first" priestly blessing. Father offered a votive Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. It was beautiful!
We met Fr. Barone last summer when he came to visit with our good friend Fr. Joseph Petrillo as he was assigned to Fr. Joe's parish for the summer, serving as a deacon.
Fr. Barone is originally from Buffalo and a close friend of our Dominican monastery there. So, it was only natural that we should in turn adopt him now that he is in the Newark Archdiocese! Father has a great love for the Dominican Order and is looking forward to becoming a member of the Priests' Fraternity, formally known as the 3rd Order. (Actually the current title of Lay and Priests Fraternities of St. Dominic is the older name although "3rd order" is a lot easier to say!)
Currently, Fr. Barone is assigned to St. Ann's Parish in Fair Lawn. We spent a pleasant parlor visit after Mass doing what Dominicans do best—talk! Fr. Barone is very energetic and engaging and before we knew it the bell rang for Rosary and Sext and we still hadn't taken any photos! Sr. Photographer quickly grabbed Sr. Lauren and Sr. Mary Catharine for at least one photo with Father.
Please pray for Fr. Barone and for all our newly ordained priests especially for their perseverance and growth in holiness. All our priests, but especially our newly ordained priests need our prayers, encouragement and support. Don't be afraid to thank them for the immeasurable gifts that come to us through their hands, most especially the Sacraments!
Father asked each of us who our patron saint was so that he could insert it in his blessing (in Latin!) Because some of us take our feast day after our title and not our name this led to some quick thinking on his part!