That is what our friend Fr. Kevin (of the blog Firmum Est) is as of today–a priest forever. He along with the 6 other men ordained for the Archdiocese of Washington. Today they can restore souls (by hearing Confessions), call down fire upon the altar and transform bread and wine into the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ! Yesterday they could not. They now act in the person of Christ the Head of the Church by virtue of an indelible mark upon their souls. What an awesome gift the Catholic priesthood is!
Archbishop Wuerl in his homily (which is actually part of the Ordination Rite) referred to the continuity of the priesthood–going all the way back to the Apostles and so also to Jesus Himself. That reminded me again that there is no Mass, no Eucharist without the Priesthood–it would have ended at the death of the last Apostle. Priests are configured to Jesus Christ by the laying on of hands of those who had hands laid on them, who themselves had hands laid on, etc.
It was a great blessing to be at Fr. Kevin’s ordination. To see a friend have hands laid on his head by so many priests–priceless. After Mass my family and i received a blessing from the newly ordained priest of Jesus Christ. (Each new priest was stationed at a different side chapel of the National Shrine’s Upper Church dispensing first blessings! Fr. Kevin had the Miraculous Medal chapel. The opposite chapel had real intense lively music courtesy of the Neocatecumenal Way). Here is what Father’s holy card looks like: