Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings from Edmonton! I must admit, I most keenly miss everyone at Assumption and St. Dominic Churchs! I may be especially sensitive today, on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows! Regardless, I send you my fondest regards and prayers!
I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and care of Anna and Aspen! Anna has mentioned to me how supportive everyone has been as I start my 4 months away from home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I am also excited to be formally greeting you at the start of my fourth and final year of formation! It is with a mixture of excitement and fear that I approach this final year. Excitement as it has been a long journey and one is always excited when approaching the destination. Fear, as I know that this is only the start of another longer journey, and one that I am most unworthy to undertake! Thanks be to God for his gift of Holy Orders, as without the graces I will receive during my ordination, I would not have a chance of success! All glory and honour to God!
Last month Anna and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary! It was a quiet celebration, as we were both at camp! But, while we didn’t have opportunity to celebrate the day, we know we have many more ahead of us!
Speaking of celebrations, this past month I was blessed to celebrate milestones with all three of my diaconal brothers! Greg, Mitch and Jose all had their rites of institution as Acolytes! I know that some may wonder why my rite was at Camp St. Louis rather than at St. Dominic or Assumption, and so I’ll explain. There are many factors that go into determining the particulars of each of our rites. The diaconatal ministry has a special bond with the Bishop. So, while deacons are typically assigned to a particlar parish to serve that congregation, the ministry is in a sense an extension of the ministry of the Bishop. Supporting vocations in the diocese is a particular goal of Camp St. Louis. Having my rite at Camp St. Louis allowed me to reinforce vocations and provide our counsellors with a very concrete example of the process towards ordination.
This month we also had a Camp St. Louis meeting and I was able to attend Lakeland Catholic’s Faith Development Day before leaving for Edmonton.
Now, I’m settled in at school, with a full course load. I am taking Canon Law, Spiritual Theology, Christology, and Johannine Literature. Next weekend we have our first diaconate formation weekend. This year our weekends almost exclusively centre around learning how to perform our various liturgical functions (perform funeral services, witness marriages, perform baptisms, assist at Mass, and lead adoration/benediction). We also start our final year of theological studies. Our first two courses, which start in a week and a half, are on Church History!
Please continue to pray for me, just as I always pray for you!
God bless you and keep you safe!