I just have to share this, it’s too good not to.
My friend Bryan Ketterer, a student of the St. Philip Neri Newman Center at the University of Tulsa while I was campus minster there, was recently ordained to the transitional diaconate. He’s currently studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and is expected to be ordained to the priesthood next year.
During much of his time in the seminary, now-Deacon Bryan sent out almost weekly emails to his friends with updates about his studies and what seminary life is like. Almost all of them began with a pretty cheesy limerick, but knowing Bryan you would agree they fit perfectly with his personality.
Although I missed his ordination while I was traveling back to PNG, I read with great interest all the accounts of his ordination, along with the priesthood ordination of Tulsa’s newest priest, Fr. Todd Nance.
This morning, I received the following email from Deacon Bryan and knew that I would have to share it with you. I know he won’t mind. He’s said I could post his missives before. It is wonderful to see such a joy of vocation!
Eleven days an ordained man,
This feels so right; I trust God’s plan.
I’ve much to learn,
And yet I yearn
That God complete what He began!
I’m still trying to make heads and tails of this whole deacon thing, but it has been really profound as much as it has sunk in so far. I really see and think about things in a different way knowing I have been consecrated specifically for carrying out Christ’s mission on earth. It seems odd that this is the case having been a seminarian for six years and basically always thinking in this way, but it’s a significantly noticeable difference. It still feels a little foreign when I act as a deacon liturgically or give blessings, but it also just feels so right. Preaching has been a crazy experience too, knowing that in some way the Holy Spirit is moving through my gift of self in preaching and changing hearts and lives. And at this point preaching really feels like I’m just throwing myself out there and hoping the Holy Spirit’s got me covered.
It’s actually been a little hard appreciating the order I received since now I can’t stop looking ahead in excitement. Priesthood seemed so far off two weeks ago, and almost a distant hope at times, but now my heart has a little taste of what’s to come and I just can’t stop longing for it. I feel so limited in how I can serve God’s people and the world for that matter as a deacon, even though a whole new world has just been opened up to me. I think I have a beginning sense of the insane restlessness Fr. Todd Nance was going through in the few days before his priestly ordination on May 25.
I know I have more musings rumbling around in my head and heart, but I’ll save them for another day and another limerick 😉
(Photo credit: David Crenshaw – Eastern Oklahoma Catholic)