CHARLESTON—Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said the standing-room-only crowd at the ordination of Father Andrew Fryml was a sign that the young man’s ministry is already having an impact.
The bishop ordained his newest priest on June 9 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Over 40 other priests were there to support and lay hands on their new brother in ministry. A large group of family members also turned out to celebrate this special occasion. The Cathedral was completely filled with hundreds of attendees who showed their support through prayer and applause.
When Bishop Guglielmone drew attention to the turnout, he told Father Fryml to remember the challenge God has set before him, but to keep in mind that he is not alone.
“Just as Moses was assisted in responding to God’s challenge to complete the task given to him, to lead the people to the Promised Land, so too are you called to assist the bishop in leading God’s people to a deeper sense of His presence in their lives,” he said.
He encouraged the new priest to remember that this is a ministry of reconciliation.
“Seek out those who are lost. Welcome them with great joy back into the family of God, the Church,” he said. “To do this, you must get to know your people. You must be able to empathize with their struggles. You must show them the deepest respect.”
He reminded Father Fryml that he must let his parishioners get to know him as well, allowing them to love their priest. It is the clergy’s challenge to follow the example of Christ, who gave Himself away for the sake of others, the bishop said. In order to fulfill this, priests must be men of prayer and reflection. He talked about the sanctity of the sacraments, and the importance of performing all duties with reverence, realizing that they are done for Christ.
“Constantly remind yourself that Christ is at the center of all that we do,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served, but to serve.”
Father Mike Hanley from the Diocese of Newark, N.J., vested Father Fryml during the ordination. Father Hanley became a friend and mentor while he studied in New Jersey.
“He really showed me what it was to be a man of God and a wonderful priest,” Father Fryml said.
Father Fryml, 26, grew up in Spartanburg and his spiritual journey began in high school at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Early on he wanted to go into business because he had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to get married and have children. About the age of 15, he felt the Lord drawing him to Himself, by calling him to the priesthood.
“I fought it for a while,” he said, “but ultimately, once I said ‘yes’ I found peace, and every year of seminary felt more peace knowing God was calling me into the priesthood.”
Father Fryml began his studies at Seton Hall in New Jersey. He spent two years there before transferring to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas, where he spent a pastoral year. It took seven years to complete his studies.
Members of his family sat at the front of the church during the Mass and celebrated with him at the reception held afterward at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.
Father Fryml’s father, Jaroslav Fryml, praised the leadership of the diocese in his son’s formation. He said his son had great examples to follow and was shown leadership by the bishop and priests at each of his assignments.
“Their love of Christ has impacted him in how he should love the Lord himself,” he said. “We are absolutely thrilled that he continues to listen to what the Lord has to say.”
His mother, Kathleen Fryml, was touched by the other priests’ support and prayers for her son.
“Words really cannot explain what we experienced watching our son having hands laid on him,” she said. “Knowing that Andrew was not only open to the Spirit, but that he was receiving it and all the prayers from each and every priest was amazing.”
She said this has been a long journey, but he is ready. The family has celebrated with him all along the way.
“We’re overwhelmed,” she said. “The whole family has been in a party mode all week and we’re so excited for him.”
Father Fryml has been assigned to St. Peter Church in Columbia. In addition, he will serve as chaplain of Cardinal Newman School.
By Anna Bolch / Special to The Miscellany