Chosen to serve the Diocese of Davenport

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Anne Marie Amacher

 

The different paths of four young men converged June 4 when each of them responded with a resounding “yes” to God’s call to ordained ministry for the Diocese of Davenport. Bishop Thomas Zinkula ordained Deacons Dale Mallory and Benjamin Snyder to the priesthood and seminarians Isaac Doucette and Duoc “Dominic” Hoang Nguyen to the diaconate at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Thanks be to God!

We celebrate their ordination publicly because God chose them to serve us, the people of God, in our diocese. They build up the common priesthood of the faithful, ensuring that the Church we love continues. “Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them, one cannot speak of the Church” (CCC, no. 1554, citing St. Ignatius of Antioch).

Now, we experience the honeymoon period with our new priests and deacons, more so with our priests, Fathers Mallory and Snyder, because Deacons Doucette and Nguyen will return this fall to their studies as seminarians, preparing for ordination to the priesthood next year, God willing.

Father Jake Greiner, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish-Davenport and diocesan director of seminarians, asks us to be patient with the newly ordained priests, absorbed for so many years in their studies and discernment. We have a role to play in their ongoing formation. “Help them to learn and to grow to be better priests.”

Some practical examples?

• Be willing to introduce and reintroduce ourselves several times. Don’t expect the new priests to remember our names immediately or to solve problems that require time to digest.

• Consider what we would want someone to do for us to help us feel welcome in a new environment. Drop off a warm meal or a batch of cookies. Send an email or a note in the mail to let them know you are thinking about and praying for them.

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• Pray for vocations; pray for other young men to consider a vocation to the priesthood. If you think someone may have a calling to the priesthood, ask that person if he has considered that possibility. Suggest his name to your pastor.

• Reflect on our own calling to a vocation — whether it be marriage, holy orders, religious life or single life. Strengthen your personal relationship with Christ. “At the end of the day, a shortage of priests is not the issue,” Father Greiner said. “We need to be faithful to God’s call in our own lives.”

• Get inspiration from an excellent, 10-minute video about our seminarians on the Diocese of Davenport Vocations website (www.davenportvocations.org).

• Encourage the young people in your life to take time in silent prayer and to truly listen to God’s voice in their heart.

• Speak positively about and actively encourage vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.

• Join the St. Serra Club of Davenport, which seeks to help create a culture of vocations in parish communities as a way to spark an increase in vocations in our Church. Visit the website at
davenportvocations.org/serra-club or email davenportserraclub@gmail.com for more information.

In the second reading for the Liturgy of the Ordination, Paul tells the Ephesians, “But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of God’s gift. And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13).

God chooses all of us to serve, but God ordained these four men on June 4 to help us build up our priesthood. That gives us reason to celebrate.

Barb Arland-Fye, Editor
arland-fye@davenportdiocese.org


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