ENID, Okla. — The archdiocese of Oklahoma City will ordain five new priests Saturday, including a native of Enid and a new associate pastor for St. Francis Xavier and St. Gregory Catholic churches.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley will ordain the men 10 a.m. Saturday at Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Norman. The ordination is open to the public and will be live-streamed at archokc.org/live.
The Rev. John Herrera, 28, originally from Norman, will be ordained to serve as an associate pastor at St. Francis and St. Gregory.
The Rev. Alexander Kroll, 27, originally from Enid, will be ordained to serve as an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond.
Kroll studied for nine years in preparation for his ordination — four years at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo., and five years at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
In an interview with Sooner Catholic, Kroll said he looked forward to celebrating his first Mass.
“I consider my own unworthiness. I’m not anything or anyone special, yet Christ has chosen to share his priesthood with me,” Kroll said in the Sooner Catholic interview. “The idea that, when I speak the words of consecration, Jesus Christ will obey and come down from glory at the right hand of God to become food for all of us is an overwhelming reality, an ineffable mystery.
“The Lord has been so good to me in my relatively short life, so merciful,” Kroll told Sooner Catholic. “If I can share just a small part of that as a priest, it still will never make any sort of return for the goodness he has shown me.”
Kroll will celebrate his first Mass at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 110 N. Madison.
Also to be ordained Saturday are: the Rev. William Banowsky, 33, from Dallas, who will serve at Christ the King Catholic Church in Oklahoma City; the Rev. Zachary Boazman, 27, from Carrollton, Texas, who will serve at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Ponca City and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Newkirk; and the Rev. Jerome Krug, 26, from Edmond, who will serve at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City.
In an archdiocese press release, Coakley commended the five men for accepting the yoke of the priesthood.
“These men have answered the call to serve others as pastors, chaplains, teachers, confessors and spiritual fathers," Coakley said. "I am grateful for their bold faith and generosity during challenging times, and pray their witness, their joy and their holy lives will encourage many other young men to explore the possibility of the priesthood while inspiring everyone they encounter to embrace a life of generous missionary discipleship.”
In the Catholic Church, ordination is the sacrament in which a man becomes a deacon, priest or bishop by the laying on of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. There are three levels in the Sacrament of Holy Orders: diaconate (deacon), presbyterate (priest) and episcopate (bishop).
The Rev. Kelly Edwards, currently associate pastor at St. Francis and St. Gregory in Enid, is scheduled to leave the Enid Catholic community at the end of the month. He has been assigned as pastor at St. Eugene Catholic Church in Weatherford, also serving Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hinton and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Thomas.