All nine men were ordained in the Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Over one thousand family, friends, and well-wishers were in attendance.
Following the Mass, everyone attended a dinner reception held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Forestville, MD. As dinner was being served, guests enjoyed evening entertainment featuring performances from many of the IVE seminarians as well as sisters from the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara (SSVM). One noteworthy performance came from the IVE high school seminary’s Buela Youth Orchestra: classical music from violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments filled the hall, adding a special ambience to the special occasion. (Ever since the minor seminary opened its doors in 2008, the priests and high school seminarians have made the trek from Mankato, Minnesota, every year by bus to witness the ordinations and to perform at the reception.)
Finally, the First Masses for Fr. Mullins, Fr. Etheridge, and Fr. Van Zee were held the next day at St. John Baptist de la Salle Church, which serves as the seminary’s parish in Chillum, Maryland. (The First Mass for Fr. Byrne will be held at a rural parish in his home diocese in Co. Kildare, Ireland.)
Our religious family greatly rejoices at being able to offer more priests and deacons for service in the universal Church. Please pray that God will sanctify them as well as the many souls who will be under their care.