In persona Christi

Gathered with friends, family, priests and other well-wishers, Fathers Benjamin Boyd and Matthew Capadano said they felt joy and gratitude June 7 after their ordination Mass at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

Each part of the Mass had meaning, the newly ordained priests said, but specific moments stood out for both.

For Father Boyd, the laying on of hands and fraternal kiss from the priests was "powerful" and "beautiful," especially because it included his best friend from seminary, Father Andrew Walsh, newly ordained in the Diocese of Wichita (Kan.), and other priests influential to his discernment.

"In a matter of seconds, you become their brother," Father Boyd said.

Seeing the beaming faces of family, friends and former teachers clapping for them as they processed out of the Cathedral after Mass, Father Capadano said he felt a sense of awe for how God had put all those influences in his life.

And it was humbling to be amidst the priests applauding the newly ordained priests as they stood with Archbishop George J. Lucas on the steps as light rain fell outside, he said.

But glancing at Father Boyd in his stole and chasuble as the two men walked toward Archbishop Lucas for the anointing of hands at the Mass, brought a powerful realization, Father Capadano said.

"That’s when it really hit me that we were ordained," he said.

In his homily, Archbishop Lucas encouraged the men to unite their lives and the lives of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ.

Through baptisms, weddings, anointing the sick, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and especially in hearing confessions, Archbishop Lucas encouraged the men in their priestly ministry to open their arms wide, configured to the crucified Lord – "inviting all to come with Jesus to the Father’s house."

"As you embrace the cross and embrace God’s people, they will know the loving embrace of the Good Shepherd – even in their sinfulness – especially there."

Watching their sons prepare for that ministry is exciting, said the priests’ parents – Joseph and Linda Boyd, members of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, and Harry and Mary Capadano, members of St. Cecilia.

While the Boyds said they were surprised when their son told them he wanted to enter the seminary, they immediately recalled what Linda’s grandfather, the late Deacon Stephen B. Costello, told them after baptizing Father Boyd:

"He said, ‘I think this one will become a priest,’" Linda said, with a laugh.

Father Boyd’s devotion to the faith, engaging personality, listening skills and compassion for others will serve him well in the priesthood, said his parents.

Observing their son advancing toward priesthood has strengthened their faith lives as well and made them more prayerful, the couple said.

For the Capadanos, their son’s faithfulness as an altar server while in grade school – Father Capadano earned an altar server award from the Omaha Serra Club – demonstrated his reverence and enthusiasm for the sacraments at a young age.

And while they said Father Capadano had many influences on his journey to the priesthood, they cite Father Damien Cook, who was assistant pastor at St. Cecilia when Father Capadano was a student at the school, as particularly inspiring.

"He really connected with a lot of the kids," Mary said.

The Boyds and Capadanos said they were grateful to the archdiocese and the Office of Vocations for the guidance and support their families received during formation.

With continuing guidance from both, Harry Capadano said he looks forward to his son beginning his ministry.

"I think he’ll be very enthusiastic and very dedicated to his work," he said.

Fathers Boyd and Capadano said they are eager to share the faith with others and be instruments for God’s grace, especially through sacraments such as reconciliation – which they said has been a blessing in their lives – and by celebrating Mass.

From ministering the sacraments to providing spiritual guidance, being invited to share in the different stages of people’s lives is humbling, said Father Boyd, who has been appointed associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont.

Appointed to chaplain and teaching duties at Scotus Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Columbus, Father Capadano said he hopes to "convert hearts and help kids fall in love with Jesus."

In residence at St. Bonaventure Parish in Columbus with Sunday duties at St. Isidore Parish, also in Columbus, Father Capadano said that as someone who enjoys talking, he also looks forward to preaching.

"It’s one of the gifts the Lord has given me, and I’m excited to use it," Father Capadano said.

Calling ordination the culmination of a beautiful journey that brought him closer to God, his family and himself, Father Boyd said he encourages men to discern a call to priesthood and asked the faithful for prayers for those serving in the ministry.

"I hear priests say it’s such a beautiful vocation," Father Boyd said. "I’m looking forward to experiencing that."

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