OFM Ordained to Presbyterate

The Presbyteral Ordination of Jerome Wolbert, OFM took place on Saturday September 20, 2008 at Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, IL. Principal celebrant was Metropolitan Basil Schott assisted by Leslie Hoppe OFM, Provincial Minister of the Assumption Province.

Jerome, the eldest of five children, was raised in the Byzantine Catholic tradition at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Flushing, Michigan. Sharing a story about his son's Baptism and Chrismation, Jerome's father related that Monsignor Tomislav Firis of St. Nicholas Church in Cleveland, Ohio after celebrating the baptismal liturgy, remarked to the godparents that "this boy is destined to become a priest."

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Michigan, Jerome continued his studies at the University of Chicago, where he received a doctorate in Mathematics. Also an accomplished violinist, Jerome became a Franciscan Friar of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province, professing his vows in 2005. He completed his educational journey in the graduate theology program at SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

Basil's homily reflected on the mystery of the priesthood. Who is called? Why is someone called?  "We don't know; that is God's business", related the Archbishop, who like Jerome, is also a Franciscan. "And now Jerome, the mathematician, has been called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ."  "A priest is a messenger not the message and he cannot change the message but is changed by the message. Finally, the Bishop asked, when is someone called? "Right now. A priest can't be a prisoner of the past. He must live in the present - the Eternal Now."