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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
May 15, 1998     The Message
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May 15, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 r Tony Ernst thanks family and friends Following is the text of a letter printed in the liturgical program for the ordination Mass of Father Tony Ernst, at St. Joseph Church, Jasper, Saturday, May 8. The letter was addressed to his family and friends. ! by Well-wishers outside the church after his ordi- Tony Ernst smiles in response to congratulations d -- Message photos by Paul R. Leingang Tony Ernst lies prostrate on the floor of St. while the choir and the assembly sing the The big day has finally arrived! I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have played a signifi- cant role in my life and prepa- ration for priesthood. Your prayers, support, and love have meant so much to me over the years. It is hard to express my feel- ing for my parents. Your love and example of faith have always been the cornerstone of my life and development. Through thick and thin, you have always been there to sup- port me and keep me going. To my sister, Angie, and my broth- er-in-law, Butch, I say thank vou for all of your love and support. And to my dear grandmothers, I am so grateful for your loving presence. My life would never have been the same without you. To Bishop Gettelfinger and the priests of the Diocese of Evansville, I express my deep- est gratitude for the many ways in which you have supported me over the years of my prepa- ration for priesthood. Special thanks to Fathers John Boeglin. Bob Bultman, John Finis, and Bernie Etienne. You have all been great examples of priestly serwice. I would also like to say a spe- cial thank you to Father Gene Schroeder and the people of St. Theresa's parish in Evansville for your support and encour- agement. Also, to Father Fran- cis Schroering and the people of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Haubstadt. I say thank vou for opening your lives and hearts to me during my pastoral intern- ship. Your love and support over the past several years has been overwhelming. \\; Father Kenneth Steckler joins in the ordination rite, as he and all priests who were present impose their hands on the head of the new priest. Thank you to the priests, gin. ters, and people of St. Peter Celestine Parish for all of your encouragement, for it is from you and your example that l was formed in the Catholic faith. "k)u have taugit me so much through your dedication and commitment to the Church. Know that you will always have a special place in my heart. I am also grateful to Mundelein Seminary and the many priests, sisters, and stu- dents who have nurtured my vocation over the past five years. I especially want to thank Fathers Gus Belauskus, Larry Hemlesse) and Dennis Zakx:ki for all of your support. To the many people who have helped in planning for this big  celebration, I am very grateful. Without attempting to single out a few people, I would sim- ply like to express a "general" thank you to all who hive planning of this memorable weekend. Finally and most important- ly, I thank Almighty God for bringing me to this dav. I am truly overwhelmed by the power of G(:l's grace at work in my life and the way in which He has called me here today. Despite all of my uncertainties and questions along the journey, the Lord has always been pre- sent giving me the needed courage to move forward. I also thank God today for the many people whom He has used to touch nay life. Be aun.3 that all of you will continue to be in my prayers in the days to come. 1 ask that you please continue to pray for me as I begin this life- long missiofi as a priest of Jesus Christ! With love, Father Tony z i!, c ' 7!:,, Qettelflnger offers a sign of peace to David and Linda Ernst, parents of the new Tony Ernst receives the applause of priests and the entire assem. bly, as a sign that theYlOve their consent to his ordination as a minister of the Church. i i r ii i n u sap [ q u i ; uJ i , .... ! . ,