From left, Deacon Matthew Keller, C.PP.S.; Bishop Joseph Charron, C.PP.S.; Fr. James Smith, C.PP.S.; and Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., provincial director, after the ordination Mass at St. Henry Church.

story by Jean Giesige

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood joyfully announce the ordination of James Smith, C.PP.S., to the priesthood and Matthew Keller, C.PP.S., to the diaconate during a liturgy on July 8 at St. Henry Church in St. Henry, Ohio.

Fr. Smith, of Pekin, Ind., has been assigned to the St. Henry Cluster as parochial vicar. Deacon Keller, of Maria Stein, Ohio, will be in ministry in Dayton’s Region Seven parishes, which includes St. Joseph, Holy Trinity and Emmanuel.

Fr. Smith is the son of Ken and Gale Smith of Pekin. Deacon Keller is the son of Paul and Carol Keller, Maria Stein.

The two were ordained by Bishop Joseph Charron, C.PP.S. During his homily, Bishop Charron told the two men:

“the Lord has chosen you. None of us are worthy of that call, but because God loves us so much, he calls us. . . . You have been called to servant-ministry. As Jesus said, ‘I come among you as one who serves,’ and he showed that by the powerful act of washing the disciples’ feet.”

The Church will make good use of the gifts that the newly ordained men have to offer, he added.

“My prayer for both of you is that you learn to recognize the many gifts that God gives you, and that you look and see the gifts that are already there in the people you serve. They too are gifted. And when you bring all those gifts together, you’ll find you are doubly blessed with God’s grace and love.”

The ordination Mass was followed by a social hosted by the St. Henry parish cluster.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood is a religious society of priests, brothers and lay associates founded in 1815 by St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Society members work as missionaries in parishes in the U.S. and abroad, in education and in a wide range of apostolates, promoting the cause of God’s reconciliation worldwide by proclaiming the Word.

For more information contact the Missionaries of the Precious Blood at 937-228-9263 or mission@cpps-preciousblood.org.