Today’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is one that I have particular fondness for. not only is our country dedicated to her protection, but so to was the seminary where I received most of my formation. Because of that, it was the tradition of our seminary to ordained its transitional deacons on that day.
And so it was that a year ago today I was ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop DiMarzio, of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Of course, ordination to the priesthood is the crescendo of many years of seminary formation… but in many ways my ordination to the diaconate stands out as the more emotional of the two. It was at my ordination to the diaconate that I made my promises of obedience, celibacy and to pray the Liturgy of the hours.
It was in the Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception that I lay prostrate and heard the litany of the saints chanted over me for the first time. Gathered with my family and brothers from the seminary it was one of the most moving moments of my short life.
This year has been a year of tremendous Grace. I can not imagine doing anything else with my life except for being a priest of Jesus Christ. I’ve been brought into contact with the people of God in so many varied and intimate ways this past year. It hasn’t been easy… but then again, nothing this wonderful should be easy.
After my Mass last night for the Vigil of today’s Solemnity I spoke about this anniversary – I encouraged any young man in the congregation to seriously consider the priesthood. I do the same here. Guys, Please be open to the Holy Spirit. Please consider the Priesthood. If our young men don’t even consider the priesthood as a viable option then we have serious problems. Guys, it has been more than worth – even in just this one year since being ordained a Deacon. Today, I give thanks to Almighty God and to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for a year of great Grace.
Here below, is a picture that was grabbed during the liturgy while receiving a kiss of peace from the other deacons present. Deacon Greg Kandra welcomes me to the diaconate! Who knew that in just a few short months we would be blogging together here at Patheos!