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6/2/2009 2:18:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Father Andrew Davy, a new priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, poses with his father, Deacon Michael Davy, following the son's ordination to the priesthood at their home parish, St. John Neumann in Gaithersburg. In the photo below, Father Davy is embraced by his mother, Kathleen. With his May 30 ordination at St. John Neumann, the new priest marked his fifth sacrament received at his hometown parish, following his Baptism, First Holy Communion, First Confession, and Confirmation.
Priest's ordination at St. John Neumann marks fifth sacrament at his home parish

Special to the Standard

For Father Andrew Davy, it seemed only fitting to be ordained a priest at the same parish where earlier in his life he had been baptized, made his First Penance, received his First Holy Communion and was confirmed. On Saturday, May 30, before several hundred family, friends fellow clergy and parishioners, Father Davy received his fifth sacrament - the Sacrament of Holy Orders - at St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg.

"It was very a powerful moment," he said. "I remember seeing a picture of my First Holy Communion and before that same altar (I was ordained). It was pretty amazing looking out and seeing people I've known all my life."

During the Mass, Washington Auxiliary Bishop Martin Holley ordained Father Davy as a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, a religious order of more than 500 priests and brothers in 19 countries around the world. Founded in 1673 in Poland by Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, the congregation's mission is to spread devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Divine Mercy message.

In his homily, Bishop Holley described Father Davy's vocation and future ministry as "a witness to the grace of God."

The bishop said, "Continue to be an apostle of mercy through your preaching and teaching...The world needs this message."

He urged the young priest to be an example to young people and to look to the Blessed Mother as "your model of humble service who like her Son came not to be served but to serve."

For his priestly ordination, Father Davy received special permission for the Mass to be celebrated at St. John Neumann Parish. "One reason was that I really wanted to expose a lot people, especially young people, to the grace of an ordination," he said.

During his seminary years, Father Davy, 28, made classroom visits to deliver vocation talks to Mother of God School across the street, where he himself attended elementary school years before.

One of five children, Father Davy told the Catholic Standard he first considered a vocation to the priesthood during high school. Later, while attending the Catholic University of America, he began to seriously think about becoming a priest. "It was the perfect place to grow in my faith," he said of the university.

Before his 2003 CUA graduation, he met seminarians of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, whose religious house is near the Northeast D.C. campus. "In them, I saw an authentic zeal that was tangible," he said. "They have a great love for the Blessed Mother and the Church."

And as official promoters of the Divine Mercy message, he said he was especially drawn to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. "More and more I saw this (message) as the heart of the Gospel," he said. "I had this sense that the Lord wanted me to help serve the Church by preaching on His healing mercy."

Following his college graduation, he entered the Marians and began his seminary studies for the priesthood.

His father, Deacon Michael Davy, who was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2008 and serves at St. John Neumann Parish, assisted during his son's ordination Mass. The Davys are founding parishioners of St. John Neumann Church and longtime members of the Mother of God Charismatic Catholic Community.

"We are very happy, really a lot of joy. We cherish vocations in our family," said Deacon Davy, adding that his son's ordination was bittersweet in a way for him and his wife Kathleen (K.C.). "We were holding back tears because we realize we won't see him as much any more. But when you give up your son to the Church, you realize blessings will come later."

Father Davy said especially looks forward to serving in parish life, which for him begins on July 1 in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill. Later this summer, he will travel to the Philippines for three months to help the Marian missionary priests there.

As Father Davy prepares to leave the place where his sacramental life began and his vocation was nurtured, he said most of all he hopes his priesthood will be about bringing the message of Christ's Divine Mercy to all.

"So much of the world's problems come from not knowing who God is - that He is distant and not madly in love with His creation," the priest said. "But Jesus desires us to come to Him for true freedom and healing. For all the strife in the world, this message is the antidote...I feel a real call to be a part of that."

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