By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor
The Archdiocese of Louisville gained three new priests May 30, bringing the total number of diocesan priests to 141.
Fathers Peter Bucalo, Jason Harris and Shayne Duvall were ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Assumption by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz on that sunny Saturday morning. Worshippers, whose lives have been touched by these three men, filled the cathedral’s seats, and about 100 people had to stand in the back.
During his homily, Archbishop Kurtz told the ordinands that just as an artist communicates the beauty of creation, they are called to convey God’s love.
“It is in beauty that people will come to know the Lord Jesus,” the archbishop told them. Quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, “The Idiot,” the archbishop told the new priests, “Beauty will save the world.”
“When we think of that, we think of beautiful churches, beautiful works of art. And that’s true. But our Holy Father St. John Paul II in 1999 wrote a letter that’s worth reading; it’s a letter to artists.
“He talks about beauty and how it is, in being swept up and understanding the beautiful, that we come to uncover God,” he said.
The letter cites Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, a 15th century philosopher, who the archbishop said taught, “It’s not as if the artist creates beauty, but rather, beauty comes from God and the artist communicates it to others and shares it with others.”
This can also be applied to the ministry of priests, Archbishop Kurtz explained. After Jesus rose from the dead, the archbishop explained, “We have among the most beautiful actions, the act of love when Jesus turns to St. Peter — after he rose from the dead, suffered and died.
“He says, ‘Peter do you love me?’ ” the archbishop noted. “He said it three times. It is the beauty of that love that you will convey to others.
“You won’t create that love. The love belongs God,” he said. “But you will communicate it by the way you celebrate the holy Eucharist and all the sacraments; by the way you allow the grace of our Lord to uplift and touch the hearts of others; by the way you not only preach the word of God and come to love the word of God; and by the way in which you walk tenderly with others.”
Fathers Harris, Bucalo and Duvall join about 70 priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville who are in active ministry. As of June 17, 58 members of the presbyterate will be retired and a few others serve outside the archdiocese.