Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood

By Laura Keener.

Bishop Roger Foys ordained two men — Benton Clift and Joseph Shelton — to the holy Order of Priest, May 19, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. It was an historic day and Bishop Foys could not resist the opportunity to acknowledge the serendipity.

“After today the lives of two people will be forever changed,” Bishop Foys said as he began his homily. “They will no longer belong to themselves. Their lives and the lives of family and friends and everyone they meet, every life they touch will change. They will give themselves totally to someone else. But enough about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,” he said as attendees of the ordination erupted in laughter.

Earlier that same day, across the pond, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, United Kingdom. And while most of the world fixated on the royal nuptials, the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption was filled with diocesan priests and the family and friends of the two men about to be ordained.

“Actually, though,” Bishop Foys continued, “the lives of two people in our midst, after today, will be forever changed. They, too, will no longer belong to themselves. They have been called, they have been chosen, by the Lord to follow him in holy orders, to proclaim his name and his love in the midst of God’s people.”

Bishop Foys encouraged the candidates to embrace their mission — to be light to the world.

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth’ and ‘you are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.’ It’s nothing that we do for ourselves; what we do, what we say, how we live, is meant to give glory to God. This is our call, this is our mission,” Bishop Foys said.

“It is true, after today Deacon Benton and Deacon Joey will not be the same. They will have answered the call of the Lord and given themselves over to the Lord without reservation, unconditionally. With God’s help and the support of the people they are sent to serve, they will fulfill the promises they make today until the end of their lives.”

The following day, Father Clift and Father Shelton each celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving. Father Shelton’s first Mass was held at St. Timothy Church, Union, and Father Clift’s at St. Philip Church, Melbourne.

On June 11 the newly ordained will begin their first assignments. Bishop Foys has assigned Father Clift parochial vicar, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Ft. Mitchell, and Father Shelton administrative assistant to the bishop, episcopal master of ceremonies and assistant to the chancellor.