On Friday, August 7th at 7 PM, my classmates and I will be ordained Transitional Deacons! I wish I could invite you all; but due to restrictions regarding large gatherings, the Ordination will be a small and private liturgy. However, it will be live-streamed on DioceseofCleveland.org.
In the Ordination of a Deacon, the Bishop will ask six questions, each of which correspond to a different promise related to the life and ministry of a deacon. In this “integration”, my classmates and I will be asked if we are fully resolved to live lives totally consecrated to Christ and His Church, lovingly embrace celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, be obedient to the Church, pray without ceasing, etc. Over the years of seminary formation, I have been given the great opportunity to pray with each of these questions and allow them to challenge, teach, inspire, and mold my heart to His. After hours of prayer and reflection upon questions like “Do you resolve to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are ministers at the altar?” I can joyfully say that YES, I do! BUT, I equally recognize that there is no way I am capable of actually living out the Promises myself. That is why our response to the questions are so important. I will respond to the question above by crying out, “I do, with the help of God!”. Yes, I do resolve to lay down my life as a Deacon, in preparation to lay down my life as a priest. BUT, I cannot do it myself. I can begin to live as Christ’s servant “with the help of God”.
And so, I humbly ask all of you to continue to pray for all of the seminarians, especially my classmates and I, as we prepare to lay down our lives in just a few days. Your years of prayer and witnessing Christ’s heart of love for me truly have been “the help of God” which I need. And so, I ask you to continue to pray for me, all seminarians, Deacons and Priests. Continue to be instruments of “the help of God” for us unworthy men who have been called to lay down our lives for the Church. Also, pray for Colleen Wilson, as she enters into the beautiful vocation of Religious Life as well! And know that I pray for you all each day. I cannot wait to minister as a Deacon at Mass next weekend, I will assist at the 5pm Vigil, 9, & 11am Masses.