Diocese welcomes Father Pat Behm
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
Bishop Walker Nickless ordained Deacon Pat Behm in a morning ceremony June 2 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.
After the ordination Mass, Father Behm struggled to come up with words to describe his feelings and said he was speechless.
“It is such an amazing and profound gift. As I was laying prostrate, I was thinking about all of the angels and saints seated around the throne of God interceding in that moment for me and for all of us in the church,” said the newly ordained.
Another highlight of the celebration came for him when the bishop began the Eucharistic prayer and it donned on him that he was actually offering the sacrifice of the Mass.
When the service began, Deacon Behm was among the procession that walked through the honor guard provided by the Knights of Columbus and then he was seated in the congregation between his parents, Jeff and Julia Behm, who are parishioners at St. Mary Church in Storm Lake.
Following the Liturgy of the Word, Father Brad Pelzel, director of vocations, presented the candidate for Holy Orders. He told the bishop that Behm had been found worthy for ordination and the bishop announced that the candidate was chosen for the Order of Priesthood.
In his homily Bishop Nickless told Behm that it was with grateful hearts that they welcomed him among the presbyterate.
“Today we rejoice and give thanks to God for calling Patrick Behm to the priesthood and we thank Pat for saying yes to God,” said the bishop. “Pat, you lift our hearts up today. You will soon be our brother priest and you give us hope and encouragement in your ordination today.”
Bishop Nickless told Behm that he had their prayers and support so that the new priest would be able to faithfully teach, sanctify and guide all of those that he is to serve. He told Behm that he had many gifts and “we are open to receiving them as you lay down your life for the sake of others.”
As a priest, the bishop said, Behm will act as Christ and bring Christ’s presence to all whom he ministers.
“You are called to holiness and will grow in holiness as you minister to God’s people,” Bishop Nickless said. “We pray that the spirit of the Lord will anoint you with the oil of gladness and fill you with joy and peace as you give your life in service to others.”
After the examination of the candidate and promise of obedience, the candidate prostrated before the altar as the congregation knelt and sang the litany of saints. Next, the bishop laid his hands on Behm in prayer and so did the many priests who attended the ordination.
Behm then kneeled before the bishop who extended his hands in prayer and offered the prayer of consecration, “Almighty Father, grant to this servant of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew within him the Spirit of holiness. As a co-worker with the Order of Bishops, may he be faithful to the ministry that he receives from you, Lord God, and be to others a model of right conduct. May he be a worthy coworker with our order, so that by his preaching and through the grace of the Holy Spirit the words of the Gospel may bear fruit in human hearts and reach even to the ends of the earth.”
Once the newly ordained was vested in stole and chasuble, he knelt before the bishop who anointed his palms with Chrism. The bishop and priests congratulated the new priest, offering him the kiss of peace and the Liturgy of the Eucharist continued where the new priest was able to concelebrate Mass for the first time.
The Behms wished to thank all of the people who have shown support for their son – family and friends.
His wife, Julia, said she was deeply touched that so many from Storm Lake and so many of her son’s classmates and seminarian parents “joined us for this joyous celebration. So many came so far.”
Father Behm said he wanted to thank everyone throughout the diocese who helped to make his ordination possible – his parents, the bishop, Knights, Serrans, brother priests and the Catholic faithful.
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