Bishop Ordains Three Men as Priests

BRIDGEPORT — Bishop Frank J. Caggiano ordained three men as priests for the Diocese of Bridgeport on Saturday, calling upon them to “preach the fullness of truth whether the world likes it or not.”

“I would love to tell you that the days ahead in the Church will be easy ones, but they are not going to be,” the bishop told the candidates at their Ordination Mass in a packed Saint Augustine Cathedral. “You have had the courage to persevere in a world where a thousand voices would have told you not to….The Church needs to be purified and renewed and we with Christ as our Captain and Savior will do that together, and you will do that with the gifts God will give you today. Thank you for saying yes because the Church needs you now more than ever.”

The bishop praised Peter Adamski, Christopher Ford and David Roman as men of true service, generosity and sacrifice, and urged them “to lead God’s people by rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in the work of life and to walk side by side with those you will care for and lead to Christ.”

The three men were given a sustained standing ovation by the congregation as they were brought before the bishop and presented as candidates for ordination. The elect prostrated themselves while the Litany of Saints was sung. Then, one by one, they knelt before the bishop who laid his hands on their heads, followed by dozens of priests who also imposed their hands, invoking the Holy Spirit to descend upon them.

After the prayer of ordination, the newly ordained men were vested with a stole and chasuble. The Bishop anointed the hands of each of them, as a preparation for the sacred duties they would perform. Then, Bishop Caggiano handed each one a chalice and paten, which signified the central importance of celebrating the Eucharist.

During his homily, Bishop Caggiano said, “The Lord is going to ask you to teach the word of salvation. We live in a world where the truth is what we would like it to be. Where half-truths are enough, a world that wants to be made in our image, not in God’s image. That may be good for the world — it is not good for us.”

He encouraged them “to go into the pulpit and preach the fullness of truth in season and out of season, whether the world likes it or not, to allow the world to glimpse the plan God has foreseen for a world that would be truly fulfilled, joyful and at peace in Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Caggiano said he was deeply grateful for their having said yes to “this great call” and he thanked the many people in their lives, from parents and teachers, to parishioners, priests and instructors, for bringing them to this day.

He told them Christ had given them an awesome gift to allow them to be channels of his sanctifying grace in the sacraments, “to bring little ones and adults into the font of the waters, where they die and rise with Christ, to be able to speak the words that will break the bonds of sin in the name of Jesus, to bring liberation and peace and set the devil on his heels, to comfort those who are dying in the moments when they need to hear God’s love … and to come to this altar and through those unworthy hands be able take ordinary bread and wine and allow it in God’s grace to become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the only Savior the world will ever know.”

He also urged them to embrace Our Lady in their priestly life because “She will never fail you. She will be your protector, your guardian, your advocate.”

At the end of the Mass, hundreds of faithful lined up at the Cathedral to receive blessings from the newly ordained men, who were overwhelmed with emotion.

Father Christopher Ford, who was assigned to St. Gregory the Great Church in Danbury, said, “It is indescribable. It is absolutely indescribable. The joy I feel is like nothing else I’ve ever felt in my life. God is good.”

Father Peter Adamski, who was assigned to St. James Church in Stratford, said, “I feel awesome I feel blessed and full of zeal right now, and I just want to get to work in the vineyard!”

Father David Roman, who will be at St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan, said, “I feel great! I feel great!”

All three had been ordained as transitional deacons last May.

Father Peter Joseph Adamski, 65, is one of four sons of the late Peter and Melda Adamski. He grew up in Jersey City, N.J., and had Holy Spirit Church in Stamford as his home parish. He and his wife Kathy, who died in 2014, were married more than 40 years, and they had a son, John.

Father Adamski received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 1976 and earned an MBA from Rutgers along with his C.P.A. license. He has held executive positions at Johnson & Johnson Co. and Bausch & Lomb and was the CEO of a foam manufacturing company in New Jersey. He completed his seminary studies at Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass.

Father Christopher Joseph Ford, 29, was born in Bridgeport. The only boy in a family with three sisters, he grew up in Naugatuck and attended St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School and Naugatuck High School. His parents, Terence and Teresa Ford, live in Naugatuck and are members of St. Francis of Assisi Church.

Father Ford graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven in 2011 and then went to work for Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, while obtaining a master’s degree in education from Kent State University in Ohio. He entered St. John Fisher Seminary in 2015 and earned his M.Div./S.T.B. degree from St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y.

Father David Roman, Jr., 34, is the oldest of three sons of David and Yvonne Roman. A native of Waterbury, he and his family attended St. Patrick Parish. He graduated from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury with a bachelor’s degree in history and received a master’s in education from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

He taught at St. Joseph School in Danbury and served as youth minister at St. Joseph Parish and Notre Dame Parish of Easton before entering St. John Fisher Seminary. He received his M.Div./S.T.B. degree at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Photos by Amy Mortensen