3priestsordainedLEXINGTON. Bishop Ronald W. Gainer ordained three men to the priesthood Saturday, May 18, in the Cathedral of Christ the King. The newly ordained are Fathers Arockiadas Arokiasamy, Alan Carter, and Gary Simpson.
In his opening remarks and welcome, the bishop noted that the ordinations were taking place during the 25th anniversary year of the diocese and the “Year of Faith,” as declared by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and on the day of the second jewel of the Triple Crown. He further noted that it was only the second time in the history of the Lexington diocese that three men had been ordained to the priesthood in a single ceremony. “No matter what happens today at the Preakness,” Bishop Gainer quipped, “we have our own triple crown.”
In his homily, Bishop Gainer told the almost-capacity congregation in the cathedral that the words and gestures of the ordination rite communicate that something very important is happening, and he encouraged those in attendance to “immerse” themselves in it.The role of the priest is three-fold, he  said: to preach, to sanctify, and to shepherd.

Priests preach and teach “in the name  of Christ,” he said and instructed the ordinands to “always remember that this Word does not belong to you, it is entrusted to you”  to hand on “faithfully and fully.”

Priests sanctify through the celebration of the sacraments “in the person of Christ,” and the bishop told the three men to conform their lives to the sacraments. As shepherds, Bishop Gainer reminded the men that the church–and all of the baptized–are one flock and, again, to conform their lives to Christ, the Good Shepherd by being vigilant and self-forgetting.

Like the Good Shepherd, he said, “these men are freely and willingly laying down their lives for Christ and for us,” instead of pursing other lives, because they were chosen by Christ.

Bishop Gainer closed his homily by encouraging all to pray for priests and praying the prayer for priests from the liturgy of the Chrism Mass.

Father Arokiasamy, 41, was born in  Ulunderpot, India, in the Archdiocese of Pondicherry, India. He is one of seven siblings, four brothers and three sisters. He received a bachelors degree in history from the University of Madras, Madras, India, before receiving baccalaureates in sacred theology from the  Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome and a licentiate in canon law, also from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. Effective July 1, he will serve as parochial vicar at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish, Lexington, and as Defender of the Bond in the diocese’s Tribunal Office.
Lexington native Father Alan Carter, 40, was a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King, before entering the seminary. He studied at St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, IN, where his studies included an added emphasis on counseling. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA. He will serve as parochial vicar at the cathedral parish, beginning July 1.
Father Gary Simpson, 46, of Somerset, holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kentucky in U.S. Constitutional and Legal History. Prior to attending Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, WI, he worked in higher education recruitment and as a chaplain and director of religious education. His home parish is St. Mildred, Somerset. He will serve as parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish, Ashland, and as parish priest at Sts. John and Elizabeth Parish, Grayson.