Recently in Diocese of Providence two young men, who had begun their seminary preparations years ago, were ordained to the Diaconate. The Church always rejoices when new vocations are brought to fruition through prayer, study, hard work and pastoral experience. When a man contemplates a vocation to the permanent diaconate or priesthood, it is the Holy Spirit who moves his heart to consider the challenges of service to God and His Church. No one’s vocation story is exactly the same, but the call to serve God and the Church is at the heart of every vocation. These two young men, will serve in parishes closely with the priests of the diocese and prepare themselves over the course of the next year to enter into the priesthood. During this time they will hone their preaching skills, develop a familiarity with the dispensation of the sacraments and develop new priestly and parish relationships.
At the end of the month, another young man, who was ordained a deacon last year, will be ordained to the priesthood. It is always a joy to share in the celebration of the ordination of new priests for the diocese. When a man enters the vocation process to become a priest, it seems like a long way off, yet on ordination day, all the challenges, studies, pastoral assignments and formation classes finally bear fruit and the preparation time will have seemed to have passed by quickly.
After the Bishop lays his hands on the head of the deacon in silent prayer, the man then gets up and his life as a priest begins. He is part of a new brotherhood, a new family, and has his hands consecrated with oil to handle to most precious gift of all, the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus. The noise of the world has a tendency to block out the voice of God through its many distractions and enticements. It is always important to continue to pray for priestly vocations and encourage young men to discern the call to the priesthood. May they have the courage to hear God’s voice calling them and respond graciously to live, serve, and proclaim the Gospel message.