By Christie L. Chicoine

CS&T Staff Writer

WYNNEWOOD – Hundreds of priests serving in the Archdiocese recently traveled back in time to their ordination day, where they reflected on the great privilege of serving Christ and renewed their commitment to grow in the likeness of Christ.

More than 400 priests met at the Chapel of St. Martin of Tours at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on Monday, Nov. 24 for the Archdiocese’s annual Day of Sanctification for Priests.

“It brought back a lot of happy memories,” said Father Daniel J. Moriarity, a parochial vicar at Nativity B.V.M. Parish in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, who was ordained in 1964.

The day provided respite for Father Kevin B. McGoldrick, a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in South Philadelphia who was ordained in 2003. The day before, he ran the Philadelphia Marathon. Appropriately, he chose as his marathon theme, “I’ve run the race, I’ve kept the faith.”

The fraternity of the priesthood came to the fore for Father Michael A. Filippello, a parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Philadelphia. “It’s very beneficial not only for the young priests like myself but for the older priests as well,” said Father Filippello, who was ordained in 2000.

The opportunity to pray with his fellow priests was a draw for Msgr. Paul V. Dougherty, pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Huntingdon Valley who was ordained in 1980. “It’s good to be with my brother priests … renewing together our commitment to the priesthood, to each other and to the Lord.”

Cardinal Justin Rigali led the mid-afternoon assembly, which included an opening prayer service with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a personal Holy Hour that afforded priests an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation and evening prayer with Benediction. A social and dinner followed in the auditorium of the seminary’s college spanision.

“It’s the love of the heart of Christ that gathers us together in the priesthood,” Cardinal Rigali said in introductory remarks.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, R.I., delivered the keynote address and served as homilist.

“Every day in your teaching and preaching, in your prayer and in your service, you do really good things for the Lord and His Church,” Bishop Tobin told the priests. “Every day you touch people with the grace of God and help them along the path of salvation.”

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or