On June 20, we were blessed to welcome newly ordained Father Jean Joseph Brice to our home to celebrate Mass. Father Brice received Holy Orders less than three weeks ago on June 3, and as such, it was a very special and exciting Mass for all in attendance. It was a particularly moving occasion for many residents and staff members who knew Father Brice from before his ordination, as he visited Jeanne Jugan Residence as a seminarian and spent the past year as a transitional deacon at St. John Paul II Parish in Pawtucket. In fact, during his homily here on Tuesday morning, he enthused about his past visit to our home, thanking the residents for sharing their wisdom and advice with him, and explaining that they helped him immensely on his path to the priesthood.
After Mass, all were welcome to come forward and receive individual blessings: a very special opportunity, and one that merits a plenary indulgence, provided that all of the conditions are met. So many residents were eager to receive a blessing from Fr. Brice that the line wrapped around the chapel. It was a touching moment to observe the joy radiating on the residents’ faces as they each stepped forward, one by one, to be blessed by Fr. Brice, introduce themselves, and wish him luck.
His kindness and great love for the Lord were touching to many who spoke with him. Throughout the afternoon, Fr. Brice could even be heard occasionally offering blessings in the hallways to staff members who were unable to make it to Mass in the morning. As he moves forward in his priestly career, we wish Fr. Brice the best of luck and extend to him and all of the newly ordained priests our prayers and gratitude for their generous response to God’s call in their lives.