In the historic St. Viator Church in Chicago, before his Viatorian confreres, family members, parishioners and colleagues from Saint Viator High School, Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.DSC_0058

Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, the Viatorians’ only active bishop, came from Belize to preside at the ordination. Bishop George Rassas, an auxiliary bishop with the Archdiocese of Chicago, also was on hand for the Mass.

“We gather today in great joy,” Bishop Glancy said to those in attendance. “This is just what Pope Francis said about consecrated life: It is a joyful moment.”

As part of the ordination rite, all of the Viatorian priests on hand processed up to the altar and laid their hands on Fr. Dan’s head in blessing. Bishop Glancy then anointed his hands.DSC_0061

“His hands are anointed because they’re set aside for a spiritual purpose,” Bishop  Glancy said. “These are hands that will bless people, raise up the body and blood of Christ and call on the Holy Spirit for guidance.”

Fr. Dan’s ordination came just over 40 years after he graduated from Saint FullSizeRender (2)Viator High School, and 20 years after Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, hired him to teach Spanish at his alma mater. Fr. Dan eventually would join the administration.

He has spent the last four years completing his seminary studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, serves as president.

In thanking everyone afterwards, Fr. Dan described the day as a “celebration of community,” and a reminder for those on hand to listen to their own calls — and to act on them.

“Sometimes we never know about these turn of events,” Fr. Dan said. “If Fr. FullSizeRender (4)Bolser hadn’t hired me in 1994, you just never know what would have happened.”

Fr. Dan celebrated his first Mass of thanksgiving one day later at St. Viator Parish, once again in the company of his confreres, family and parishioners, and even his first grade teacher and a professor from CTU.

Fr. Thomas Kass, CSV, offered the homily, in which he pointed to Fr. Dan’s ordination as a sign of hope in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.

“Let your priestly heart be grounded in mercy, in hope and in love,” Fr. Kass said, “and in the activity of prayer.”