Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre ordained Father Dustin Hungerford to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Louisville May 21, saying it was a great day of rejoicing.
“We are present here today to ordain you to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. What a great day of rejoicing for this local church, for the universal church. What a great day of rejoicing for your family and friends who love you. What a great day of rejoicing for you personally,” said Archbishop Fabre. “It is my honor to be present today to ordain you as a priest in this, my first ordination of any kind here in the Archdiocese of Louisville.”
The ordination, celebrated at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville, was attended by Archbishop Emeritus Joseph E. Kurtz, who retired in February, as well as members of the presbyterate, deacons, seminarians and a host of laypeople who filled three-quarters of the church.
During his homily, Archbishop Fabre reflected on the priesthood and on the ministry Father Hungerford is beginning.
“I pray and I know that the people of God will love your priesthood and you,” he said, speaking directly to the newly ordained priest.
The “people of God” love priests for many reasons, said the archbishop.
One such reason is summed up by the statement that “the ordained priest is the rich fruit of an invitation offered by God to find purpose and meaning in life by being God’s presence to people in the world today,” said Archbishop Fabre. “In a very real way, priests bring to others the presence of Jesus Christ, the presence of Jesus Christ that is fostered and nurtured by the priest’s own prayer, reflection, service and his own quest for holiness in life.”
Archbishop Fabre offered the new priest some advice and encouragement:
“May it always be the Lord you preach and exalt in your ministry,” he said. “Being faithful to the priestly promises will lead you to the blessings God has promised.”
He also counseled Father Hungerford to learn from the laity.
“The people have much to teach you from their own encounters with God,” he said.
Father Hungerford will serve as associate pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church and St. William Church.