As I have only known Immanuel for a short period of time, I offer him my congratulations on his ordination tomorrow to the Transitional Diaconate! What I do want to focus a little bit on in this post is my other brother seminarian, Will Thompson. Will, will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate tomorrow with Immanuel in the Mass of ordination to the order of deacon by Bishop William Medley at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Owensboro at 10 am. If you are able to attend, I encourage you to do so. I find that the Deacon Ordination is one of the most beautiful liturgies in the church’s life.
I have known Will for somewhere around 10 years now. Will was one of the many men who taught me how to serve at the Altar, growing up. One of the main things that Will taught me was how to be the Book bearer. He taught me the pages of the Sacramentary, when to turn the pages for the priest, how to set the Altar, when to kneel or bow during the Eucharistic Prayer, etc. Not only was he a great teacher, when it came to learning about serving the liturgy, but he was an excellent role-model for myself. It was during this same time, that I had met the now Fr. Josh McCarty who also helped teach me to serve. I mention this because of what their states in life were. Fr. Josh at the time was a seminarian studying at St. Meinrad, while Will was just applying for seminary. Knowing both of these great men, really left an impact on me. They were men who I could look up to, they taught me about things that interested me, and they introduced me to the idea of a “seminary and seminarians.”
Growing up as a young boy who was in third, fourth, and fifth grades, it was an excellent thing in my life to have such witness at such a young age. In fact, over this time I knew 4 seminarians who would come by the parish and help us at big events, or who would come and teach our CCD classes. I can probably attribute some of my love of the priesthood and interest in going to Seminary to these men. I have known them for years now and stayed in touch.
I kept in touch with most of the men throughout the years growing up, Will was one of them who still would drop me an email and who I would see at different events. Will would share stories of the seminary, and would even come to help out at my parish in my sophomore and junior years of high school. I am so thankful for Will being in my life and am delighted that I have known him from the first part of his seminary life, going up to him now being ordained to the Diaconate, and hopefully God-willing to be ordained to the priesthood.
I wish you congratulations Will! And can’t wait until tomorrow! You are a major part of my discernment journey and a valued friend. I am so much a better man, because of your example in my life. Keep being the great role-model you are to so many. I love ya brother!