Fr. Michael Thomas
Fr. Michael Thomas
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Four new priests ordained for the Congregation of Holy Cross served in Oregon during their formation.

The men were ordained April 27 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Prior to ordination, the men professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and committed themselves to the common life and apostolic work of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Father Brian Kennedy served as a seminarian at Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland during the summer of 2014. “If we are to not educate the mind at the expense of the heart, then it seems to me that we must bring something more than professional skills or expertise,” Father Kennedy said in a reflection on ordination. “Our mission demands a disciple’s hope.”

Father Karl Romkema served at Holy Redeemer in Portland during the summer of 2016. “Each of the baptized are called and graced not only to follow Jesus, but to identify so closely with him that there is no noticeable difference between master and disciple,” Father Romkema said.

Father Brogan Ryan was stationed at Holy Redeemer for the summer of 2013. “These have also been difficult days for the church, so I also feel humbled in my vocation and energized to be a good and holy priest,” he said.

Father Michael Thomas served at Holy Redeemer during the winter of 2014. “Community life is the hearth of joy and energy that warms us to head back out into ministry,” he wrote. “Belonging to the community of Holy Cross is how God asks me to belong to his church and how God asks me to love the world.”

“As these men are ordained as Holy Cross priests, there is great rejoicing in the vision they bring, the courage they demonstrate, the hope and the fervor they share, and the great joy and peace they will make known wherever they serve,” said Father Bill Lies, provincial superior of the United States Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837 by Father Basil Moreau in France. There are about 1,200 Holy Cross priests and brothers worldwide and about 500 members in the U.S. Province. The province sponsors four colleges and serves at 13 parishes in the U.S. and 10 abroad, including in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Other ministries include outreach to homeless people via St. Andre Bessette Parish in Portland and a house of hospitality for homeless people in Phoenix.