The Archdiocese has been blessed with a new priest.
St. Joseph's Basilica was packed with parishioners, seminarians and priests from across the Archdiocese on Monday, July 2, for the ordination of Miguel Irizar to the priesthood.
Father Miguel has often credited a faith-filled family life for inspiring his vocation. His parents set a powerful example by going to Mass weekly, confession monthly and praying the rosary regularly.Observing his parents' prayer life, he says, made him strive to become more like them. And with 15 brothers and sisters, he learned from a young age about sharing, cooperation and generosity -- all virtues that would assist him in his future role. 
"If I gave of myself without expecting anything in return, it filled me with joy. That experience stayed with me," he told the Western Catholic Reporter.
In his homily during the Mass of Ordination, Archbishop Smith said a man is swept up into something infinitely greater than himself when he becomes a priest.
"He is given a particular and permanent participation in the unfolding, here and now, of God's plan of salvation accomplished in Christ. His life, therefore, must be one of continual surrender to God's salvific purpose, of putting into practice in his life what John the Baptist once said of his own: 'I must decrease and Christ must increase.'" 
Father Miguel will offer Masses of Thanksgiving at two parishes where he has served:
  • 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 3 at Our Lady of the Assumption, 9040 - 95 Avenue, Edmonton
  • 7 p.m., Thursday, July 4 at Holy Trinity, 200 Boundary Road, Spruce Grove