Bishop Olson ordains Deacons Gary Picou and Raul Martinez to priesthood

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Kathy Cribari Hamer

Fr. Gary Picou blesses Bishop Michael Olson following his ordination to the presbyterate for the Diocese of Fort Worth. Fr. Raul Martinez blesses Bishop Michael Olson following his ordination to the presbyterate of the Diocese of Fort Worth
Fr. Gary Picou blesses Bishop Michael Olson following his ordination to the presbyterate for the Diocese of Fort Worth. Fr.Raul Marinez blesses Bishop Michael Olson following his ordination to the presbyterate for the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Two priests’ lives converged May 24 at St. Patrick Cathedral, when, from differing backgrounds and histories, they lay prostrate in front of the same altar, knelt and promised fealty to the same bishop, and received the same sacrament.

Father Gary Picou, ordained after having begun his seminary study 20 years earlier, sat with his parents, Cathy and Gary, all of them smiling, then stepped forward to express his willingness and desire to join the presbyterate for the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Father Raul Martinez López, dabbing at his eyes occasionally sat near his mother, brother, and a cluster of cameras, handled by proud relatives who had traveled from Mexico in anticipation of the huge event.                                                                                                   MORE PHOTOS

This ordination was as traditional and glorious as the sacramental liturgy always is, but it had an extra dose of joy and excitement about it — beginning with Bishop Michael Olson’s opening statements, when he remembered his own ordination nearly 20 years earlier, June 3, 1994.

“I was just slightly less nervous that day,” joked the Bishop, with his signature wit, “than I am today.”

All the bishop’s remarks at the ordination contained an overtone of joy and celebration. He also emphasized a unity of focus between priests and bishops, to whom the soon-to-be-ordained would later pledge their obedience.

“In the context of this celebration, we will ask these men and they will gladly give with gratitude in their hearts the promise of obedience that is very much a part of the ceremony of this liturgical drama.

“As Pope Francis points out for us,” the bishop said, “an obedience to the Church and the hierarchy gives us, as it were, not simply the external framework for our obedience — the parish to which I am sent, my ministerial assignment, my particular work — but also a union with God the Father, the source of all fatherhood.

“It is likewise obedience to the Church, in service and availability and readiness to serve everyone, always and as fast as I can, following the example of our Blessed Mother, who hastens to serve Elizabeth, her kinswoman, and is concerned for the wedding in Cana, when the wine runs out.

“The vow that you make this day is of the heart,” Bishop Olson said, “and it is of the heart not only of your own, but of the Church, the entire Church, and it is an act of faith, an act of hope and an act of love.

“Always remember,” he emphasized, “it is Christ who initiated this, by calling to you by name.”

The two men had indeed come from the same calling, but while Fr. Raul took the direct route, through 10 years of preparation, and bilingual studies, Fr. Gary painstakingly analyzed a simple yet complicated question, “What does it mean to be a priest?” Some of their preparation years overlapped, and they ended up assigned to the same parish, Holy Family, where they worked with pastor Father Jeff Poirot, and were together ordained to the transitional diaconate on Sept. 14, 2013.

The ordination, on the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, brought together Father Gerald McBrairity, representative from Theological College where Fr. Gary finished his seminary years; and Father Rodrigo Benetez, rector of Seminario Hispano Santa Maria de Guadalupe where Fr. Martinez studied.

An honor guard was provided by the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus; seminarians from the Diocese of Fort Worth served as acolytes and altar servers; the choir was compiled from a combination of voices from St. Michael Parish in Bedford and St. Patrick Cathedral, directed by Joanne Werner; and priests from the diocese and from Mexico concelebrated the liturgy.

Masters of ceremonies were Deacon Don Warner, Father Thu Nguyen, and seminarian Joseph Keating; Deacon Jim Crites of St. Patrick served as Deacon of the Word, and Deacon Mike Mocek, who had served with the two ordinands at Holy Family, served as Deacon of the Altar.

“My dear sons,” Bishop Olson said to the two who would be ordained, “you are to be raised to the order of priesthood. For your part, you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching, in the name of Christ, the teacher, impart to everyone the word of God, which you have received with joy.

“Meditating on the law of the Lord,” he said, “see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach.”

See Also

Deacon Gary Picou’s vocation journey has come full circle

As a young child growing up in Houston, Deacon Gary Picou had a dream. “I wanted to be an astronaut. That was my goal,” he said. However, when the young man took the physical, he learned he was color blind. “My dream of being an astronaut kind of died,” said Dcn. Picou, soon to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fort Worth. But in one of many references to the mystery of God, the deacon noted the color blindness may have been one of ways God works, and a demonstration of his sense of humor and providence.

Mexico native Deacon Raul Martinez developed and fostered his vocation throughout his life

RDcn.-Raul-Preaching-BUTTON.jpgeverence and humility show in his eyes, smile, and carefully-worded homilies. Deacon Raul Martinez Lopez worries about his vocabulary and presentation, but to the assembly he delivers his thoughts clearly, even in his new, second language. Dcn. Martinez, whom Bishop Michael Olson will ordain to the priesthood at St. Patrick Cathedral 10 a.m., Saturday, May 24, assisted at Holy Family Parish’s noon Mothers’ Day Mass May 11.

Dallas Auxiliary Bishop Deshotel ordains Raul Martinez and Gary Picou to transitional diaconate

Dcns-Ordination-BUTTON.jpgA deacon’s call to teach the faith and serve the community is a vocation — a seed placed by God in the heart of a man. But the family is where that seed is nourished and cultivated. Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, offered words of praise to the parents of Raul Martinez Lopez and Gary Picou, Jr., before addressing the men he was about to ordain to the transitional diaconate Sept. 14 in St. Michael Church in Bedford.

Frs.-Gary-_-Raul-Communion-WEB.jpgTwo priests’ lives converged May 24 at St. Patrick Cathedral, when, from differing backgrounds and histories, they lay prostrate in front of the same altar, knelt and promised fealty to the same bishop, and received the same sacrament.

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