How do some Franciscan friars become priests?

"He remains a brother among brothers"

Hausen / Wied - The Bishop of Trier Dr. Stephan Ackermann ordained the Franciscan brother Michael Ruedin as a priest on May 17th in the monastery church of Haus St. Josef in Hausen. In his sermon during the festive service, the bishop emphasized the ordination of a religious brother to the priesthood was “nothing everyday”. Most recently, 60 years ago, a brother of the Hausen religious order was ordained a priest. The service, to which many religious from the region also came, was also actively shaped by residents of the St. Josef House; A project choir under the direction of Dean's Chantor Stefan Klemm (St. Wendel) provided the background music.

Bishop Ackermann, who together with the deacons Dr. Ernst Schneck and Br. Bonifatius Faulhaber FFSC as well as Thomas Darscheid, dean in the Rehin-Wied dean's office, who celebrated the service, thanked Ruedin for his willingness to be ordained a priest. Religious communities in particular set great store by being equal as brothers or sisters, and Brother Michael remains "brother among brothers". His ordination as a priest means, however, that he can now bring this gift of being able to act sacramentally to his community. The Order of the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross takes care of the elderly, people with disabilities and the sick in its various institutions. “With this service, as a community, they themselves represent what Jesus said,” emphasized the bishop in his sermon. Jesus was and remains the example for all who put themselves in the service of people. As a priest, Br. Michael could set signs in the celebration of the Eucharist that reminded of Jesus: "Here it is shown that Jesus comes to our aid with his love, that we do not believe that we have to create everything and save the world."

Born in Zurich in 1977, Br. Michael Ruedin worked as a draftsman for four years after finishing school. As a community service provider, he took care of asylum seekers and the elderly. In 2001 he joined the Order of the Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross and studied religious education at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences in Mainz from 2004 to 2007. After training as a parish officer, he completed a distance learning course at the University of Wales with a master's degree in theology. Br. Michael Ruedin then worked as a hospital chaplain. In recent years he has completed a two-year supplementary course in preparation for the priestly service at the St. Lambert seminary in Lantershofen. The superior general of the community, Br. Ulrich Schmitz FFSC, said that Ruedin would in future work, among other things, as a spiritual guide for the staff of the institutions, but also in the formation of the brothers.

The ordination takes place according to a fixed procedure: First, the candidate promises the bishop his readiness for priestly service; the worship congregation calls on the saints before the bishop and all priests present shake hands with the candidate. Then the bishop says the consecration prayer. Finally, the newly consecrated stole and chasuble are put on, his hands anointed with chrism and he is given bread and wine - as a sign that he will preside over the Eucharistic celebration in the future.