Archbishop Francis Leo stands with the five newly ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Toronto, May 11, 2024. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto

Toronto welcomes five new shepherds

  • May 13, 2024

A packed St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, filled with family, friends and well-wishers, gathered May 11 to see five men become the newest priests for the Archdiocese of Toronto. 

The Mass of Ordination celebrated by Toronto Archbishop Francis Leo May 11 marked the culmination of five distinct calls to service, with the Sacrament of Holy Orders being bestowed upon each in the downtown cathedral.

“What a glorious occasion we celebrate today in the life of the Archdiocese. The ordination of five new priests for service to the Lord and the Holy Mother Church is a grace, a gift we need to welcome with humility and gratitude,” Leo told those assembled. 

As he began his homily, the ordinandi — Marko Bušić, Daniel Lee, Ryan Nigli, Szymon Karol Sorbian and Jeremy Zou — listened closely, taking in their final instructions before the Rite of Ordination commenced. 

“What is a priest and what do they do?” the Archbishop asked the congregation rhetorically. “I wish to underscore five such dimensions in keeping with the five deacons present today for this celebration.” 

He said the new priests must undertake five roles; sons to his family and the Church, fathers determined to keep the faith family united, servants with the desire to please the Lord, shepherds to lead their holy people in charity and fishers of men that seek to bring Christ to the public image. 

“The priesthood of Jesus Christ is a most wonderful life of dedication and service to the people of God. You are not going to be paid a lot of money and you will live a pretty simple life. However, the joys you will experience are beyond question. The need and purpose you will bring to people's lives and the graces that you will mediate are boundless,” Leo said. 

As a quiet fell over the cathedral while the incense smoke began to settle, the reality of years' worth of faithful vocational service coming to fruition was realized by all in attendance. 

“You will be privileged to be with people during some of the most significant moments of their lives, called upon to baptize the children and prepare them for First Communion. You will become a true minister of God's mercy and commitment to the Sacrament of Confession and journey with young couples preparing to celebrate Holy Matrimony. You will even witness God's healing presence in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. You will serve with the love of the heart of Jesus, all of this and much more,” Leo said. 

As the celebration continued through the laying on of hands and the prayer of ordination, all five men from St. Augustine’s Seminary were officially welcomed as the newest priests of the Archdiocese to resounding praise from attendees. 

Even after the celebration of the Eucharist and the conclusion of Mass, the closing remarks of Leo’s homily still lingered strong — a message of reassurance to the newly ordained priests who will now serve parishioners across the Archdiocese. 

“Our sole ambition is to serve Him and the people entrusted into our care. Do not be afraid to give Christ to the Church and to give your life to Christ every single day. As the beautiful prayer of self-dedication concludes, ‘Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me, give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.’ ” 

The new priests will begin their priestly lives as associate pastors throughout the Archdiocese: Bušić at Prince of Peace Parish in Scarborough, Lee at St. Bernadette’s in Ajax, Nigli at St. Justin Martyr in Unionville, Sorbian at St. Patrick’s in Markham and Zou at St. Barnabas in Scarborough.

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