I was remiss in not noting the reception of minor orders by the Oratory’s own Abbe Alex Barga, which occurred in Gricigliano, Italy on July 5. Here is the account in his own words, from the Oratory newsletter. Congratulations, Abbe Barga!
ABBÉ ALEX BARGA – MINOR ORDERS
Abbe Alex Barga, in Gricigliano
Our own Abbe Alex received the minor order of Porter and Lector. Abbe Alex writes of his experience in Gricigliano:
Two weeks ago I left the country to go to Bayerisch Gmain, Germany for a silent retreat before going to our Seminary in Gricigliano for Ordination Week. I arrived in the beautiful mountains of Bavaria on an early Tuesday Morning. The retreat, which lasted four days, consisted of daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, two conferences a day, and a lot of time for prayer, rest and meditation. Monsignor Schmitz and Canon Lenhardt gave the conferences and they provided a lot of edifying thoughts on which to meditate. At the conclusion of the retreat I felt very prepared for the next week, when I was to receive the first two minor orders: Porter and Lector. The weekend before going to the Seminary we went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, where Canon Lenhardt celebrated a High Mass in the side chapel, and on Sunday I assisted at the two Masses we celebrate in Traunstein and Bad Reichenhall. After spending a week in Germany, the community in Bayerisch Gmain and I jumped in the van and drove the eight hours through the mountains of Austria to Gricigliano for the week of Ordinations.
On Monday evening, ten seminarians and one oblate received the cassock from Monsignor Wach. Among the five Americans who received the cassock were Abbe Matthew Walter and Abbe Ben Norman, who both spent a year of candidacy here in St. Louis. The next day Bishop Giovannetti, Bishop Emeritus of Fiesole, conferred the Minor Orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist and Acolyte to over 35 seminarians and oblates in the Seminary Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Gricigliano. The Chapel was packed full and some visitors even had to watch it on a television set up it the Refectory! On Wednesday Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop in Kazakhstan, ordained two Deacons and nine Subdeacons at the church of Saints Michael and Cajetan in Florence. On Thursday, July 7th, Ordination week came to a spectacular end with His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke, ordaining four Priests. It was the most beautiful Liturgy I have ever seen, with His Eminence processing in with Cappa Magna and celebrating Mass from the Throne. We went back to the Seminary after the four hour ceremony to prepare for the Te Deum with Most Reverend Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence and the big dinner that evening for around 500 guests. The night concluded with the usual spectacular fireworks display. The next morning, after the first Masses of the new Priests, we drove back to Germany for the weekend. I left Germany to come back here to St. Louis on Monday, and although I was sad to go, I was happy to come back home. The past few weeks were filled with beautiful Solemn Liturgies, unbelievable hospitality in both Bayerisch Gmain and Gricigliano, and lots of graces. It was a perfect two weeks and, thanks be to God, I was able to profit immensely from it.