On December 1st, the First Sunday of Advent, Saint Patrick Parish and Oratory had welcomed His Grace, the Most Reverend Leonard Blair, Archbishop of Hartford, for the installation of the Reverend Canon Joel Estrada as Pastor.  Also present for the occasion was Secretary to the Archbishop, Rev. Fr. Matthew Gworek, the Vicar for Clergy, Rev. Fr. James Shanley, Rev. Fr. John Mariano, and seminarians.  The Reverend Canon Matthew Talarico, the US Provincial Superior, was also present for the special occasion, as well as Abbe Alex Barga, as Master of Ceremonies.

The Installation ceremony revealed all the essential duties of a Pastor: to offer Mass and distribute Holy Communion; to bring people to the church, baptize, and absolve them; and to preach the Gospel.  The ceremony began with His Grace imposing the pastoral stole on Canon Estrada in the vestibule of the church.  Following the entrance procession with the majestic Ecce Sacerdos, all chanted the Veni Creator Spiritus.  Canon Estrada then knelt in front of the Archbishop to recite the Profession of Faith, Oath of Fidelity and Commitment to Priestly Service, and the Oath against Modernism.

Archbishop Blair guided Canon to open and close the doors of the tabernacle and touch the ciborium therein.  The Schola chanted the Magnificat antiphon and verse from the Second Vespers of the feast of the church’s patron, St. Patrick, and Canon Estrada prayed the Collect from the same feast.  The Archbishop led Canon to ring the bell, to open and close the front door of the church, to open and close the baptismal font, to enter the confessional in the church, and to ascend the pulpit.  From the pulpit, Canon Estrada asked for the Mercy and Grace of God to help him in his new Pastorate and with gratitude to the Archbishop for his paternal support as shepherd of the Archdiocese he requested prayers from all the faithful who were present in order to continue on the journey towards sanctity and perfection and, God-willing, Heaven.

Following the Installation ceremony, Canon Estrada celebrated a Solemn High Mass, with Canon Talarico as deacon and Abbe Kevin Kerscher as subdeacon, in the presence of His Grace with William Byrd’s  Mass for Three Voices, led by Director and Organist David Hughes with the Tolle Lege Ensemble.  Archbishop Blair preached on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans 13:11-14 and the Gospel of Saint Luke 21:25-33 to help prepare the faithful for the Season of Advent and the coming of Christ.

During a Reception in the Church Hall, Canon Talarico and Canon Estrada thanked Archbishop Blair for confiding the flock of St. Patrick to the care of the Institute.  Sincere thanks to the altar servers, Mr. David Hughes and the Tolle Lege Ensemble, and the many parish volunteers who brought to fruition the details of this beautiful day.