Story and photo by Gregory A. Shemitz

Hundreds of people—most of them Catholics of Korean descent—filled St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre to near capacity on Saturday, June 23, to witness the ordination of Father Leo Song to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Scroll down for a slideshow from the ordination.

Bishop John Barres was the principal celebrant and homilist at the midday Mass. He was joined by Bishop William Murphy, retired bishop of Rockville Centre, Auxiliary Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski, retired Auxiliary Bishop John Dunne, and about four dozen concelebrating priests.

Father Song, 36, was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Bayside, Queens, and educated for the priesthood at seminaries in Washington and Rome.

“Indescribable,” said Father Song when asked after the ordination to express his feelings about becoming a priest. “I can’t put into words all the emotions and thoughts that I have.

“The priesthood of Jesus Christ is an enormous gift and blessing from God.”

Father Song will serve as an associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Massapequa.

Members of several Korean Catholic communities in Dioceses of Rockville Centre and Brooklyn attended the ordination to express their love and support for Father Song. Holy Name of Jesus, Woodbury; St. Aloysius, Great Neck; St. Robert Bellarmine, Bayside; St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang, Flushing and Holy Spirit, Brooklyn, were among the parishes represented at the Mass, which was followed by a reception, featuring Korean food, in the Msgr. James Kelly parish center.

Father Song, who celebrated his first Mass on Sunday, June 24, at Holy Name of Jesus Church, is the second native Korean to be ordained for service as a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Two years ago, Father Jiha Lim, also from Seoul, was ordained by Bishop Murphy. Father Lim currently ministers as an associate pastor at St. Mary Parish, Manhasset.


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