CAMDEN — Charging the two young men in front of him to be “pastors, pray-ers, persons, preachers, priests and pedagogues,” Bishop Dennis Sullivan ordained Anthony Infanti and Joshua Nevitt to the priesthood the morning of June 16 here at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
In front of a standing room-only crowd that included their now-brother priests, deacons, religious, family, friends and well-wishers, along with thousands watching the livestreaming proceedings on Facebook, Fathers Infanti and Nevitt joined the ranks of the presbyterate after studious years of seminary formation in Philadelphia, North Jersey and Rome.
“Touch the hearts of the people (you will serve) by what you preach…preach the truth,” Bishop Sullivan urged them, telling the newly-ordained to be “men of zeal, authentic, sensitive, loving, human … don’t be afraid to be real.”
“You will learn much, especially from the poor and suffering,” he added, and reminded them of the gathered’s unfailing love for them. “The family of God will support you. You are never alone; we are with you.”
Directing his words to the two men’s families in the first pews, Bishop Sullivan joked that they should now “have a lot more pasta” for dinners that will inevitably include the extended family now created by the sacrament of holy orders.
After the ordination Mass, a reception followed where attendees could congratulate and receive first blessings from the two new ordinandi. (During the Rite of Ordination, new priests impart first blessings on bishops and priests).
The day was a happy one for the parents and siblings of Fathers Infanti and Nevitt.
“It’s pretty amazing,” remarked Sally Fox, Father Nevitt’s mother, who was along for her son’s journey to the priesthood with her husband, Marshall, and Father Nevitt’s siblings, Jeremy and Emma. The years from her son’s entry into the seminary to June 16, 2018, not only brought graces to him, but to his entire family, she said. “His journey helped us grow closer in our own prayer life.”
“We are so proud of the path that my son Joshua has chosen and of the young man he has become. As a servant of God, many others will experience the joy of knowing Joshua, a joy we have been blessed with for many years,” said John Nevitt, who attended the ordination Mass with his wife, and Father Nevitt’s stepmother, Dorothy.
Father Infanti’s mother Patricia, brother Joseph, and Joseph’s fiancée Alexis, shared in his joy.
“I’m thrilled that God chose him to be his servant,” Patricia said, wiping away tears. “This is a day we’ve prayed for, for many years. My heart is so full.”