Welcome to Pater Egil

On Sunday 26. January, on the Feast for St. Eystein Erlendsson (archbishop to Nidaros 1161-1188), Egil Mogstad was ordained priest in the Catholic Church. The ordination took place in Nidaros Cathedral, where Egil was ordained according to the Lutheran rites in 1974.

All photos: Jan Erik Kofoed

It has been a long road for Egil before he on this day could walk up through Nidaros Cathedral surrounded by a large number of Catholic clergy, to kneel in front of Bishop Bernt Eidsvig Can. Reg. and pronounce his priestly vows and pledge his obedience to the Church.

Nidaros Cathedral was packed with visitors from home and abroad, family and friends, both Catholic and Lutheran as well as from other faiths and the congregation from St. Olav Catholic Church. This is the first time since the Reformation (1537) that a Catholic priest has been ordained in Nidaros Cathedral, and it is a big step for the cooperation between Lutherans and Catholics that the ordination could take place here. This was indeed mentioned by Bishop Bernt Eidsvig in his homily. He emphasized that Egil has done an important job in narrowing the gap between the faiths. We will not quote the whole homily here, only refer to some central points.

The Bishop drew a line from St. Eystein Erlendsson's work as church-builder, and pointed out that the Catholic Church in Trondheim soon will start the building of a new church. He reminded us that St. Eystein not only built churches, but also filled them with a spiritual content. "A church is built from living stones": the faithful!

To serve and help these faithful will be Egil's most important work. A priest is the servant of the people and the sacraments. A priest represents a living symbol of Christ in the world, and while carrying out the duties of a priest the similarities between Christ and the faithful become increasingly more apparent. As time passes, a priest will better understand the content of the prayer from the mass: Consider not our sinfulness, but the faith of your Church.

The Bishop remarked that as priest there will be very little free time, but he promised that all priests will encourage, help and comfort each other and Egil, in the work as servants of the sacraments and the people.

Many of us who were present have waited a long time for this day. We greet Pater Egil with gratitude and joy and join in the prayers from the mass:

 Bless this our brother, make him holy and consecrate him to your service, Jesus, Son of God.