For the next year, St Pascal’s will have two Deacons. Our seminarian, Nate Pacer, was ordained a Transitional Deacon May 15 in his home Diocese of Rockport Illinois. If you have not had a chance to watch his ordination you can still view it on YouTube:
I found it a beautiful ceremony to watch and it brought back good memories of my ordination to the Diaconate in 2002. Bishop Malloy’s homily was thoughtful and reminded me of the ministry of “Christ the Servant” a Deacon is called to. I especially liked his reminder that a ministry of service sometimes does not seem very glamorous, but it is the core of Jesus’ ministry that was not always glamorous. He also had a very good reminder that praying the Liturgy of the Hours (the official prayer of the Church) is a service that clergy and laity do to support the Church. It is not first most a prayer that we are supposed to get something out of, but something we do to build up the Church. Luckily, it is also a prayer of service and obligation that we do get spiritual benefits from over the long run.
What does this mean for St Pascal’s? We will be blessed to have two Deacons for the next year while Nate continues his journey of following the prompting of the Holy Spirit hopefully leading to Ordination to the Priesthood. When Nate returns from his summer break of ministry in his home Diocese he will be the Deacon of the Mass one weekend a month during his normal teaching weekend at our parish. This means he will assist at Mass as I do, read the Gospel, and preach. Both Fr. John and I are excited to have Nate join us in the rotation, and I look forward to hearing Nate preach. In talking to Nate, he has an interesting background and strong faith life to share with us. I will also give Nate opportunities on major feast day celebrations, if he is in town, to perform the liturgical role of Deacon and allow him to get familiar with assisting at these important liturgical celebrations.
I encourage us all to give our support, encouragement, and prayers to Nate during this last year of his formation. I also remind you that he may perform the liturgical role of Deacon a bit differently than I do as what is taught now is different than my formation 22 years ago. He also has young knees and will not make the spectacle I would make in getting up from kneeling on the floor.
Peace, Love, and Blessings