Monday, September 08, 2014

A Priest Forever

SVILUPPO: Fr William Carmona was called home just before 3pm CT on Wednesday, 10 September. May the angels lead him into Paradise... and at the end of his suffering, may he know the face of the High Priest he strove to serve and imitate among us.

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Almost eighteen years ago, the then-rector of Dunwoodie and auxiliary of New York rushed to the family home of one of his seminarians. Chrism stock in hand and two stoles over his arm, he greeted his destination with an unforgettable line: "Eugene, we're going to make you a priest!"

Three hours after his ordination on a couch by the now-Cardinal Ed O'Brien, Fr Eugene Hamilton died at 24, taken by an incurable tumor in his chest.

Today in San Antonio, it happened again: in the last stages of a returned cancer now spread beyond treatment, William Carmona, 50, was ordained both deacon and priest on his deathbed by his bishop, Nashville's David Choby.

Born in Colombia as one of 13 children, the new priest's hospital-room rite – which came together in a matter of hours – owed itself to Fr Carmona's studies at Assumption Seminary, the bilingual house which has seen record numbers of men in formation over recent years as the Stateside church's de facto Hispanic majority continues its emergence into ecclesial life.

As the ordinand lay unresponsive in bed, a nurse keeping watch close by, the moving, surreal rite was captured by San Antonio's in-house Catholic Television arm... here below in full:

Much as the moment more than speaks for itself, God reward everyone who made it possible. And Danny... well, 'nuff said.