Funny things happen when you go on vacation with a bunch of camera equipment… you meet some of the best people! That is just what happened on a trip to Rome. Our tour guide through the Pontifical North American College was (then) Deacon Nolan Lowry. Not only was he from Texas, he also was in the market for a photographer for his ordination in 2010.
Many months later, the big day arrives – Tyler Texas Diocese – Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, established in 1878
Upon arriving early in the morning, there was a buzz in the air as people started filling the pews. Unbeknownst to the parishioners, dozens of fellow priests were gathering in the basement, to participate in the ordination service. Just before the start of the ceremony, I caught a few seconds with Nolan and he was very calm. The beauty of the cathedral set the background with a massive stained glass mural lining the wall behind the altar. Throughout the celebration, the sense of honor, dedication, and calling of faithfulness was inescapable. The amount of sacrifice it takes to study, discern, and answer the call to become a priest was certainly felt inside of the cathedral.
Finally, the ceremony is filled with the election of the candidate, promise of the elect, litany of supplication, laying on of the hands, prayer of ordination, vesting with stole and chasuble, anointing of hands, the kiss of peace, and the liturgy of the Eucharist. There were many blessings given and Fr. Nolan Lowry became an ordained priest. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:5)