The saying must be true that there are not enough hours in the day or time flies when one is having fun. After an hour and a half delay at the Oakland Airport on Tuesday evening, I finally made it back to the state where my formation journey began in 2006. I forgot how beautiful Oregon truly is with lush greenery and the array of colors that autumn brings.
I went back to Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary to witness Brother Raymond’s Ordination to the Diaconate. It was a delight to be there with him and celebrate this sacred moment in his life. We entered Mount Angel Seminary in the same semester and it was a moving moment to know that he has finally arrived to the Sacrament of Holy Orders along with five other wonderful men studying for the priesthood.
After such a short visit, I came back home to find myself at the San Francisco Cathedral picking up necessary vestments for the ordination at Saint Patrick’s Seminary tomorrow morning. Indeed the past 24 hours have been exciting.
“At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate, thus signifying the deacon’s special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his diakonia.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1569)
“Among other tasks, it is the task of the deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1570)
This short visit allowed me to enter into my own prayer life and realize the journey thus far. Every mark on this journey, every friend made, every heart broken, every memory cherished, is a pure gift from God. The call to follow Christ so radically and share in his priesthood is nothing more than a pure and undeserved gift. This upcoming Thursday, November 3rd, I will take another step towards the priesthood as I will join my classmates in the Institution of Acolyte. Another step and yet it is God’s initiative, God’s pure gift to share in his mission. It is a call to holiness. We are all called to holiness. We are all called to participate in Christ’s mission in making his kingdom a reality today.
** Photos by Nancy Larson