Wagga ordination

This is an amazing ordination cake. The symbolism is manifold. I wish I had taken two photos, from different angles, because the “birds eye view” doesn’t do it justice.

At the base of the cake is an icing cincture which, the creator says, signifies that the ordinand is no longer his own man. He is consecrated to the Lord in the service of his people.

The cake is covered in red icing which evokes the precious blood of the Eucharist.

The image of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement is a second tier, encased by a clerical collar. It speaks to the eschatological significance of the priestly ministry.

The white zuchetto is not a prophecy of papal election! It’s a tribute to Pope Benedict, whose pontificate coincided with the ordinand’s seminary training.

The images of our Lady and St Joseph refer to the ordinand’s devotion to the Holy Family, and the rosary was an unplanned addition credited to inspiration.

The rose petals were made with sugar and rose water, so they smell like real roses. And the water called for in the cake’s recipe was replaced with holy water!

When the chef isn’t making amazing ordination cakes, she owns and runs Veritas, which is possibly the country’s best Catholic bookshop. You’ll find it in Albury. I highly recommend it!

As for the ordinand, his name is Bradley Rafter, and he is one of the best men I know. He is a “late vocation,” joining the seminary at 28. During his late teens and early twenties, I don’t think he darkened the door of a church at all.

A comparison to St Augustine may not be entirely fair, both on the measure of his worldly excesses, and also on the measure of his scholarly output.

Nonetheless, I think now-Father Brad speaks with a similar sort of authority. A man who exploited the opportunities the world offers, and found them wanting. These days, he has the zeal of the convert, and the common sense and realism you’d expect of a thoughtful 35 year old. He is one of those rare people who is at home at every situation society might throw at him. As a much older priest said to me, “he is very balanced,” which is high praise in the context of older, more progressive priests, commenting on us younger traditionalist types.

Bradley Rafter will be a great priest. Pray for him!

  • Michael

    Nice cake but I think Buddy Valastro from ‘Cake Boss’ is still the king of novelty cakes!

    • Wow. I’d never heard of this before, but now I think I want to watch it. Curse you, reality television!

      • Michael

        Some of Buddy’s most amazing cakes!

  • Nino

    Hi Fr. John,
    “Long time listener, first time caller”… Pleased to have met you in person for Fr. Brad’s Ordination and Thanksgiving. I trust that your drive back home was a safe one, and that your first celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy was a blessed one. Regards to Joel (nice to have met you too). Hopefully our paths will cross again someday. Keeping you both in my prayers.
    Peace, Nino.

    • Hey Nino. Thanks for your prayers brother.

      I had a great Divine Mercy Sunday. Penitent after penitent after penitent in the confessional. I slept the sleep of the dead Sunday night! I can only imagine the day had a similar effect on Fr Brad, considering it was only his second full day as a priest! Ha ha.

  • Ahmed Jaquez

    Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape. Determining whether a given food should be classified as bread, cake, or pastry can be difficult.`

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