|Newly-ordained Father Cody and Bishop Thomas|
In a solemn mass my son pledged his vows to the diocese of Helena, Montana.
|Taking his vows (photo by Father Jeff)|
The ordination took place in the beautiful cathedral of St Helena in Helena Montana. The pews were packed with people, not only family, but many of Cody's friends from both seminary, college, and parishes he'd been assigned during his time as a seminarian.
|Anointed by the bishop (photo by Jen)|
Although my family and I had a front row seat for this special event, I opted not to take photos and just enjoy the ceremony. A huge thanks to Cody's friends, Jen and Father Jeff, for sharing some of their images.
|Newly ordained, Father Cody sits with the other priests (photo by Jen)|
Although Cody was the only young man ordained to the priesthood that day, two other men were ordained transitional deacons. In another year, they will become the next new priests in the Helena diocese.
|Two other men were ordained deacons|
Of course my husband and I were extremely proud of our son. We know how hard he's worked and how much it means to him.
|A proud moment!|
After the mass was finished, I had Cody pose for photos with Bishop Thomas, who is a wonderful man and a good friend of Cody's.
|The family (photo by my dad, I think)|
Can you believe I didn't get any family photos with my camera? Well, there was a lot going on! Luckily my dad snapped a few shots.
|Blessing his fellow priest|
I learned that the blessing from a newly-ordained priest is very special. After mass, many people lined up to receive a blessing from Father Cody.
|Blessing his sister|
It kept him busy for quite some time!
|Cody and some of his friends from seminary|
Afterwards, we had a reception for Cody at a local restaurant. I got to meet many of Cody's friends. A large group from his seminary journeyed to Montana to witness the ordination.
|Father Cody's first mass|
The next day, Cody held his very first mass. A newly-ordained priest's first mass is a very big deal. He invited all his family and friends, and many people stayed the extra day to be a part of it.
|Preaching the homily|
The mass was held at St. Cyril and Methodius parish in East Helena, MT. Cody had been assigned there the previous summer. The parishioners were wonderful - they took him in and made him feel welcome. To repay their kindness, Cody chose their parish for his first mass.
|Cody's first mass|
Again, I opted not to take photos and just observe. A big thank you to Mike, a parishioner of St. Cyril's for sharing his images from the mass.
It was weird to see my son as the presiding priest, up on the altar running things, and preaching the homily. But he did a fabulous job.
|After mass, Cody looked relieved!|
Afterwards, the people of the parish held a potluck reception for Cody. Everyone pitched in and brought salads, main dishes, and desserts. Such wonderful people to do this for Cody! They even supplied this yummy cake.
|The parish put on a nice reception|
My son will now live permanently in Western Montana. He's currently assigned to a parish with his old friend Father Jeff. He'll work under this experienced priest for a year or two before getting his own parish.
Although it's bittersweet that my son now lives a day's drive away, I know he is doing what he loves. I'm extremely proud of what Cody has accomplished and know this kind, caring young man will do much good in this world.