"And what God has done has done in my life, leading up to this point, even though the response of the Church has limped in many ways, that God was true in all of that."
"I could be confident that the grace that I had experienced in all of my life was the Lord acting."
In fact, Hood said that he began to believe that God had made known to him his invalid baptism so that he and other people in the same situation might receive the power of sacramental grace.
"It has to be God's Providence. In a very powerful way, God manifested His Providence. There's so many factors that would have been impossible to put in place by our own actions. Like, that the baptism was filmed. Now everyone has a cell phone, back then it wasn't as common."
"The fact that I received a call to the priesthood in the midst of all this, and I was able to know what the correct words of baptism were. Because we assume that when we go to Church, that the priest or deacon does what's correct."
"The fact that I was able to know that, the fact that the Vatican came out with this document when it did, five months after [I saw the video]. And then just God's Providence in the work of the Church in working to fix this situation.
Hood said because of what he learned, the Church could be sure that he and others received the sacramental grace they never began with.
"There's like a full court press that the archdiocese is doing in reaching out to people," the priest said, and he called that an "evangelization opportunity."
Some of them, he said "have had no interaction with the Church, maybe, for a very long time and this is an opportunity to reach out and establish a relationship."
The priest added that he knew God had worked in his life mysteriously, even without the actual grace of the sacraments.
"So much of what the Lord did my life was very fruitful, even when it wasn't valid."
Hood said he isn't angry with Deacon Springer, but he thinks his situation offers an important lesson for his brother priests and deacons.
"I would just attribute it to poor formation," he said. "For me it seems so obvious that you just do what the Church does, you know? 'Say the black do the red.' But I don't know if that's always been taught in seminaries."
Still, he said, priests should remember their solemn responsibilities to the sacraments.
"Hopefully my case is evidence that the sacraments are not something we can mess around with, They're something we receive from Christ."
"It's Christ who speaks. As ministers of the sacraments, we don't speak our own voice, but it's Christ who speaks through us. Our job is to get out of the way. And we do that by faithfully celebrating the rites that the Church has given us," he added.
He was ordained a priest Aug. 17, in a quiet rite faithfully celebrated.
It felt very familiar, he said.
"There was a sense of a greater reception of the office in my ordination on Monday and I think that was a grace. A lot of it seems like deja vu, like I've been here before, but the fact that now we have certitude is a tremendous grace."
"Thank God for the certitude that's given to us by the Magisterium. And if there is any particular grace of now being a validly ordained priest, I think that's the grace."
The priest said he extended that grace to his parishioners, the day after his ordination.
His situation hadn't been announced to the parish, no one knew all that had happened. They just knew he'd been out of the parish for a week or so.
He arrived to celebrate morning Mass - it would be his very first validly offered Mass. But he didn't tell the parish that.
"I just showed up in the parish after being gone for a couple days, and I told the parishioner, without explaining why, that Holy Mother Church offers us the gift of a plenary indulgence for all those who have attended this Mass, as long as they meet the correct steps."
The Church offers a plenary indulgence to Catholics who attend a priest's first Mass, as long as they make an act of detachment from sin, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the intentions of the pope.
Hood said after Mass, he "heard confessions for like an hour and a half," presumably from parishioners seeking the grace of that indulgence.
As to the reason for the indulgence that day, Hood said, "nobody asked. But it was a gift that they were able to receive that grace."