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Newly ordained American priest, Canon James Hoogerwerf, offered his First Solemn High Mass and officiated Solemn Vespers on the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost at the Institute's international seminary in Gricigliano.

In the presence of his brother canons, Canon Hoogerwerf returned to give thanks to the Divine Infant King, our Lord Jesus Christ, enthroned above the seminary tabernacle, by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the altar whence he was nourished by the sacraments for seven years on his path to the holy priesthood.

His former classmate and now brother priest, Canon Matthew Weaver, was given the honor to preach for the occasion. He reminded his American confrere and all present of the providential pertinence of the first words of the day's Holy Gospel: Beati oculi qui vident quae vos videtis (Blessed are the eyes that see what you see).

We are the religion of the Incarnation, and henceforth, God has deigned that His infinite love for humanity would be visible to us to save our souls. This began with the virginal birth of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, King and Sovereign Priest, and continues until the end of time through the heavenly beauty of Holy Mother Church's Sacred Liturgy at the hands of her priests.

Canon Hoogerwerf was then encouraged to remain devoted to our Divine King, the Infant Jesus, there above the seminary altar. "The more you honor Him", Canon Weaver assured him, "the more He will bless you".

We pray that Christ our Holy Infant King will continue to bless Canon Hoogerwerf and all of the newly ordained for everything they do to honor Him as their Divine King for the salvation of souls. May the Infant Jesus be their shepherd and model as holy and faithful priests in His devoted service forever.

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