The deacon serves “on his knees looking up, not on his throne looking down”

The deacon serves “on his knees looking up, not on his throne looking down” January 4, 2015

Diocese Crest

Those words came from a homily delivered at an unusual ordination this weekend in Albany.

From The Troy Record:

Frederick Richard Lesser, a widowed father of three grown children, was ordained a transitional deacon Saturday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Madison Avenue and Eagle Street, a step toward priesthood.

“From the time I was small I have always wondered if I had this vocation,” said Lesser, 60.

Lesser is a retired equine veterinarian from South Bethlehem, and is expected to be ordained as a priest in June.

“It’s been a slow unfolding for many years. The doors kept opening in this direction,” Lesser said.

When asked about his past as a husband and a father, he said, “I still have that life with me. I’ve got three kids, my wife passed away nine years ago, but I was blessed by God to have two wonderful vocations.”

Lesser was joined at the ceremony by Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard, and about a dozen other priests.

As an active parishioner at St. Patrick’s in Ravena, Lesser began to see a new path after his wife’s death.

He said his call to the priesthood was fostered by a number of good priests and religious women.

And there is this, from FOB (and Queens native) Bishop Scharfenberger:

Bishop Scharfenberger recalled his own ordination in September 1972.

“I knew that when I was becoming a deacon, I knew I was taking a significant step,” said Scharfenberger. “Even though it was not the priesthood, I knew that I was now making that step to really follow the Lord in this way for the rest of my life.” In his homily, Scharfenberger said the step of becoming a deacon was not a step up, but down, “to serve on his knees looking up, not serve on his thrown looking down.”

Read it all. 

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