Colin Davis, Joseph Rampino ordained as priests

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Father Colin P. Davis was 10 years old when he looked up at his mom and told her, "I think I want to be a priest." That youthful prediction became a reality when Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services ordained Davis and Joseph M. Rampino to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington June 11.

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, recovering from recent back surgery, was unable to serve as the ordaining prelate, though he offered a private Mass at the same time. "It is a special grace to stand unworthily in the stead of my dear friend and brother," said Archbishop Broglio. "Think of it as if Paul sent Timothy to represent him," he joked, in a reference to the early Christians.

Archbishop Broglio repeated the words of Christ to Peter in the Gospel when he asked the ordinandi, "Do you love me more than these?"

"The Lord's question to Peter is about love," he said. "He did not ask Peter about administration, organization or even theology … . The apostolate is based on this intimate bond with Jesus and has no other foundation, because it must be a dissemination of the Lord's love," he said.

The archbishop spoke about the many roles of priests and their participation in the most intimate moments of people's lives. "Your presence will be welcomed in times of illness and loss, in the preparation and celebration of baptism and first holy Communion and that quest for mercy" - the sacrament of penance.

But above all, he said, "You will bring people into a unique participation in the one sacrifice that opened the door to everlasting life. … That celebration will always be the hallmark of your ministry and a defining element of who you are and what you alone can do for those who hunger and thirst for the bread of life."

The archbishop then asked the men for their vow of obedience to the Arlington bishop. They prostrated themselves, a symbol of dying to old life and rising to the new, while the congregation sang the litany of supplication.

Archbishop Broglio laid his hands on the two deacons and prayed over them - the key elements of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Then, each priest from the diocese laid hands on them as well.

Father Rampino and Father Davis were each robed with a stole and chasuble, symbols of their new office. Father Davis was vested by Father Thomas B. Cavanaugh and Father Rampino by Father Christopher T. Vaccaro.

To the joy of the congregation, Bishop Loverde arrived in his wheelchair at the end of Mass and was blessed by the new priests.

Buy photos from the ordination here

In a letter thanking the many people who helped them on their journey to the priesthood, Father Davis and Father Rampino asked for prayers, "that we might be prayerful, generous and faithful priests who preach and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and no other message."

Father Davis will serve as a parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fredericksburg, while Father Rampino will be a parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria.

The ordination of her son was a humbling moment for Lisa Rampino. He was just a teenager when she and her husband trepidatiously dropped him off at college seminary. A week later he called home. "He was so chipper and joyful we felt this was meant to be," she said.

The celebration concluded with an a capella rendition of "Salve Regina." As the priests of the diocese processed out of the cathedral, the choir, organ, trumpets and drums played a jubilant "O God Beyond All Praising."

Di Mauro can be reached at zdimauro@catholicherald.com or on Twitter @zoeydimauro.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016