A full house at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo celebrated a beautiful day in both weather and spirit, as the diocese welcomed two new priests from A to Z.
See photos of the ordination Mass on Facebook
Father John Adams and Father Bryan Zielenieski became the two newest priests in the diocese, as Bishop Richard J. Malone ordained the two men during a special Mass on Saturday morning. Family, friends and others packed the cathedral to witness the special event in the lives of these two men, as Bishop Malone told the audience that God Himself chose them to their new vocations.
"Bryan and John have been chosen," the bishop said. "They have, over the years, discerned God's call and have been well prepared to answer that kind of call. John and Bryan, never forget how awesome is this wondrous gift of God's election of you for priestly ministry. What trust Jesus has in each of you."
The priestly ordination Mass happens once a year and completes the journey of Father Adams and Father Zielenieski as they prepared for years with personal reflections, seminary training and finally their service as transitional deacons over the past few months. Father Adams has been assigned as a parochial vicar at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Hamburg, and Father Zielenieski will serve as parochial vicar at St. Christopher Parish in Tonawanda.
Father Adams, 57, followed the call to his vocation late in life after working as a psychologist. As a civilian, he worked with the deaf community, and served his diaconal assignment at Resurrection Parish, Cheektowaga, which is the diocesan home of the Deaf Apostolate.
"The one thing about my whole experience here academically, personally, spiritually, I have trusted the Lord and really surrendered to Him," Father Adams said in the June Western New York Catholic. "Wherever He takes me, I trust it will be His will."
Father Zielenieski, who celebrates his 35th birthday later this week, grew up on a dairy farm in Arcade. He decided to become a priest after serving as a pastoral associate at the former SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Arcade, and believes his background as a farmer has taught him the patience and discipline needed to follow God's path.
"It's so inspiring, and it continues to give me light and hope as I become a priest," he told the Western New York Catholic last month.
As the two men were ordained, the dozens of priests who attended Saturday's Mass welcomed them to their ranks with a prayer and a hug. During his homily, Bishop Malone encouraged them to prepare as they take the next step in their spiritual vocation.
"Please keep in mind every moment of every day your own need - our own need - to grow daily and get to that friendship with Christ, through prayer and the Eucharist," Bishop Malone said. "Only in prayer can we keep in touch with the sacramental grace soon to be poured into your mind. Your being is about to be changed forever."