LAKE CHARLES – Reverend Jacob Scott Conner was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles on Saturday, Dec. 18, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception before a standing room only crowd.
The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, was the ordaining prelate.
At the end of the Mass, Father Conner also received his first pastoral assignment as a priest when Deacon George Stearns, chancellor of the Diocese of Lake Charles, read his letter of appointment, which named him Parochial Vicar to St. Henry Parish in Lake Charles. Father Conner will continue his current assignment as Chaplain at St. Louis Catholic High School.
He celebrated his first Mass Sunday, Dec. 19, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Welsh.
Father Conner’s December ordination places him in a select company of priests in the Diocese. A priestly ordination on the Saturday before Christmas is reminiscent of a revered tradition, that of celebrating ordinations during the Ember Days of Advent, specifically Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the Third Sunday of Advent. Other priests serving in the Diocese who hold that distinction include: Monsignor James Gaddy, Fathers Marshall Boulet, Ed Brunnert, Ernest Corriveau, Joe Gosselin, James Winiarski, Roland Vaughn, Brian King, Augustine Mulanjanany, John Poerio, and Fred Russi.
Bishop Provost, in his homily, spoke about these final days of preparation for Christmas.
“In former times, today was an Ember Day, a special day of penitential practice to begin the final week of preparation for Christmas,” the Bishop said. “These final days bring into focus the object of our hope, the birthday of Christ, our Savior, the Word of God become flesh. And here a new priest takes his place in our midst, in persona Christi, the embodiment of Christ’s presence.”
The Bishop noted that these are the “O” antiphon days, due to the fact that each Magnificat antiphon at Evening Prayer begins with that expression, “O”.
“A sigh of expectation and longing,” Bishop Provost said.
In his final comments to Father Conner the Bishop said, “If the priest is to be another Christ, then the priest must advance 'in wisdom and age and favor before God and man'. His vocation is a mystery of Christ present, a desire for which all the “O antiphons” give expression. It was Pope John Paul II who, in reflecting on his own initial call to priesthood, said, 'There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest.' In a sense, this ordination is your Bethlehem and you will inevitably have your Gethsemane and your Calvary, but when in the deepest moments of prayer you sense that call that is not your own, may you come to find an angel and a star leading you to the manger and an empty sepulcher and the Lord in the breaking of the bread.”
Father Conner had been ordained to the Diaconate on May 10, 2008. He served in a number of pastoral assignments in various parishes prior to his priestly ordination – St. Philip Neri Church in Kinder; Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lake Arthur; St. Eugene Church in Grand Chenier, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Creole; Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Cameron; and St. Henry Church in Lake Charles. Bishop Provost appointed him as chaplain at St. Louis Catholic High School in May 2010.
A 2009 graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, Father Conner received a Master of Divinity (MDiv) as well as a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) - a pontifical degree conferred by the Josephinum in affiliation with the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington and attended Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.
(Bishop Provost's homily may be read in its entirety at http://live.lcdiocese.org/bishop-provost/homilies/761-priesthood-ordination.html. Photos of the ordination may also be viewed at