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Bishop Burbidge Ordains Three New Diocesan Priests

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge bestowed the Sacrament of Holy Orders on Father Nicholas Cottrill, Father Thomas Duggan, and Father Ryan Elder at an Ordination Mass celebrated at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary, June 1, 2013. Approximately 60 priests concelebrated the Mass, including Bishop Timothy Senior, Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, and Rev. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese of Raleigh.

The three newly ordained priests were presented for service to the people of the Diocese by Vocations Director Fr. Ned Shlesinger, VF. After inquiring if the men were worthy to be ordained, Bishop Burbidge accepted the request, with the packed church showing consent with its applause.

“What a blessed day for the Church and our Diocese,” Bishop Burbidge said, at the beginning of his homily, “as these three men, your sons, brothers, family members and friends, are about to be ordained priests.”

Bishop Burbidge pointed out that the three men are filled with the special gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of wisdom. “Namely, it is the Lord God who formed them in the womb, who has chosen them to be His priests. They understand that it is Jesus who is the true vine, and that apart from Him they can do nothing, but with Him they will bear much fruit.”

The Bishop spoke of the new Diocesan vocations video titled “Promises,” in which 22 priests serving in the Diocese speak of the blessings and challenges of their priesthood, while noting that their presence brings hope to all those they encounter.

“Nick, Tom and Ryan: as branches of the vine, you will bring such hope,” the Bishop said. “In addition to your faithful preaching of the Gospel and your reverent celebration of the Sacraments, your commitment to sacred celibacy is a sign of the Kingdom of God in our midst; your promise of obedience reveals your trust in God’s holy will; and your resolve to pray fervently, including the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, will be a gift for God’s people.”

Following the Bishop’s homily, the Rite of Ordination continued with the three men promising fidelity to Christ and to the ministry of the Priesthood. Each in turn kneeling before Bishop Burbidge, with his hands between those of the Bishop, Father Cottrill, Father Duggan and Father Elder promised respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors. The gift of the Holy Spirit was then conferred by the laying on of hands, followed by the Bishop saying the Prayer of Ordination. The Bishop then anointed the palms of each of the newly ordained as a sign of the sealing with the Holy Spirit, who was called forth through the imposition of hands and the Prayer of Ordination.

Each of the new priests celebrated their first Mass on Sunday, June 2: Father Cottrill at Our Lady of Lourdes, Father Duggan at Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst, and Father Elder at Saint Thomas More in Chapel Hill.

Effective June 27, Father Cottrill will assume the position of Parochial Vicar of Saint Peter Parish, Greenville, and Spiritual Director to John Paul II Catholic High School, Greenville. Father Duggan will serve as Parochial Vicar of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Wake Forest. Father Elder will serve as Parochial Vicar of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Cary.

View Ordination photo gallery - by Paul Tomás Photography

View Holy Hour photo gallery - by Paul Tomás Photography

Watch Bishop Burbidge's homily:


Read Bishop Burbidge's homily

View pre-ordination interviews with the three newly ordained priests:

Nicholas Cottrill


Thomas Duggan


Ryan Elder


Click photos below to view larger.

Above: Nicholas Cottrill during the Promise of Obedience taken by each of the three men before Bishop Michael F. Burbidge,  prior to ordination.

Above: Thomas Duggan during the Laying on of Hands, prior to the Prayer of ordination, at which point the gift of the Holy Spirit is conferred upon the men to be ordained.

Above: Bishop Burbidge anointing the hands of newly ordained Father Ryan Elder, following the Prayer of Ordination. The anointing is a sign of the sealing with the Holy Spirit who was called forth through the imposition of hands and Prayer of Ordination.

Above: Bishop Burbidge joined by Vocations Director Father Ned Shlesinger, Father Thomas Duggan, Father Ryan Elder, Father Nicholas Cottrill and Bishop Timothy Senor, Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Rev. Mr. Michael Burbeck kneeling.

Above: Bishop Michael Burbidge with Father Cotrrill, Father Elder and Father Duggan.