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Two priests ordained for Duluth Diocese

By Deacon Kyle Eller 
The Northern Cross 

Bishop Daniel Felton ordained two new priests — Father Scott Padrnos and Father Daniel Hammer — to the priesthood June 24, the Solemnity of the Sacred heart of Jesus, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth.

Bishop Daniel Felton prays over Father Daniel Hammer (left) and Father Scott Padrnos as part of their ordination to the priesthood June 24 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary. (Photo by Deacon Kyle Eller / The Northern Cross)

Joined by many of the priests and deacons of the diocese, visiting clergy that included Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt, SEMV, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, and a capacity congregation at the Cathedral, Bishop Felton welcomed the family and friends of the two men to be ordained and called it “a great day of rejoicing.” 

He greeted Bishop Betancourt as a friend and formator of Father Padrnos and friend to the diocese, in addition to invoking the memory and presence of the late Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba, who was bishop of the Duluth Diocese during much of the two new priests’ formation. 

In his homily, Bishop Felton noted that in being “raised to the order of the priesthood,” the two new priests would be participating in the priestly roles of teaching, sanctifying, and governing. “See that you believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach,” he said. 

“Always remember that you have been taken from among the people and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God,” he added. “Fulfill their hope, the mystery of Christ the priest, with abiding joy and love. Seek not your own concerns but those of Jesus Christ.”

Father Daniel Hammer (left) and Father Scott Padrnos lay prostrate before the altar as part of the ordination right. (Photo by Deacon Kyle Eller / The Northern Cross)

“Today we rejoice not in your mission in life but in God’s mission for you and in you and through you as his priest,” he said. 

Bishop Felton concluded by putting the new priests’ ministry in the context of the local church’s ongoing missionary work. 

“As our diocese is mobilizing to mission, may God raise you up to be a missionary disciple and priest for our own times, standing on the shoulders of Ven. Bishop Frederic Baraga and Msgr. Joseph Buh and all the missionary priests who have served the Diocese of Duluth since 1791 …,” he said, when a priest first proclaimed the Gospel in the International Falls area. 

“May you never forget from this day forward that your priesthood is not about you, but rather about the divine, incredible, and miraculous things God will do for you, in you, and through you to fulfill God’s purpose and mission from this day that he has entrusted to you as Father Scott Padrnos and Father Daniel Hammer.”

Father Hammer gives the traditional first priestly blessing to Duluth Bishop Daniel Felton (left) and Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt. (Photo by Deacon Kyle Eller / The Northern Cross)

Father Hammer, 28, is the son of Dr. William and Teresa Hammer, from St. Andrew’s in Brainerd. He completed his seminary work at the North American College in Rome. He is assigned to graduate studies in canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome this fall, after serving this summer at Holy Spirit in Virginia. 

Father Padrnos, 32, is the son of Daniel and Susan Padrnos and is from St. Christopher in Nisswa. He completed his seminary training at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and will begin his assignment as parochial vicar of St. Francis in Brainerd, All Saints in Baxter, and St. Thomas of the Pines in Brainerd effective July 13.