Here’s something you don’t see often.

Details from New Liturgical Movement: 

On Holy Wednesday, April 8, His Excellency Roger Foys, Bishop of Covington, Kentucky, celebrated the diaconal ordination of Joseph Rielage in the cathedral-basilica of the Assumption. Attendance was restricted to 10 persons because of COVID-19 precautions; the new deacon and all those present were aware of the many faithful viewing and joining in hope-filled prayer during the live-streamed ceremony. It’s very edifying to see such nice vestments used in the Ordinary Form, and to see a cathedral veiling the Cross for Passiontide. Thanks to our friend Deacon Jordan Hainsey, who designed the vestments, for sharing these pictures with us, and congratulations to Deacon Rielage!

Some background on the new deacon, from his diocese: 

Joseph Rielage has thought about a vocation to the priesthood for most of his life. The first person to comment to him that he might have a vocation was one of his customers at a SherwinWilliams paint store. A customer, “Jim,” unexpectedly said, “Joe, someday you’re going to be a priest.”

“I told him he must have smelled to many paint fumes,” Mr. Rielage said.

But the truth is, Mr. Rielage had thought about a priestly vocation when he was in high school at Elder High School, Cincinnati. As life went on, the idea would present itself often, whenever he came to a crossroad in his life, but the time was never right.

Mr. Rielage is one of two children of Tom and Carol Rielage. While he was in college, Mrs. Rielage became very ill and Mr. Rielage felt an obligation to care for his mother. She didn’t recover. Before she died, Mr. Rielage assured his mother that he would take care of his father.

“My dad was lost because he was so dedicated to my mom. I basically had to look out for him,” said Mr. Rielage. “I had promised mom, not to worry about dad that I would take care of him.”

And so he did — happily and without any regret.

When his father passed away in 2013 the call to the priesthood overtook his imagination.

“I woke up on Pentecost Sunday and I said, ‘Lord, my life is okay right now but if there is something you want me to do let me know.’ The thought of seminary entered my mind again and I had this fire inside of me that I can’t describe. I thought that must be the call,” Mr. Rielage said.

For over a year Mr. Rielage has had the date April 4, 2020, marked on his calendar as the day Bishop Roger Foys will ordain him to the transitional diaconate — a step in his formation to ordination to the priesthood next year.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed on public celebration of the Mass and sacraments, the question of whether this was the right time came up. Mr. Rielage was asked if he wanted to postpone his ordination or have a private ceremony with only 10 people present — including celebrants. Without hesitation, Mr. Rielage chose to go ahead with the scheduled ordination as a private ceremony, Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. The ceremony was live-streamed online; a link to the livestream is on the diocesan website

“I think its important because in this time of uncertainty, this time of lockdown, it’s important to show that the life of the Church does go on,” said Mr. Rielage.

Read more and find more pictures at the link. 

Ad multos annos and welcome, brother!