Friday, 18 May 2012 03:59
By Christopher M. Riggs
Bishop Michael O. Jackels will ordain two men to the priesthood and one to the transitional diaconate next week.
Rickey Kotrba, the son of Scott and Mary Kotrba of Wichita, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at 7 p.m. Friday, May 25. Because the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is being renovated this year, Kotrba will serendipitously be ordained in his own parish church, St. Francis of Assisi.
He and the other ordinandi recently responded via email to questions posed by the Catholic Advance.
Kotrba said he is excited to be able to work this summer as a deacon alongside the diocesan priests.
“I particularly am hopeful to be able to perform many baptisms and welcome more and more people as children of God and members of Christ’s body, the church,” he said.
The other Kotrbas are also excited about his upcoming ordination. “I have received so much tremendous support from my parish and the whole diocesan family as ordination approaches,” he wrote. “My mom is always telling me of more and more people who are praying for me, helping in planning and organizing in the ordination, and just generously giving themselves for the church through the ordination, and this has been very humbling for us.”
The Mount St. Mary’s seminarian said he would encourage any young man considering the priesthood to give of himself to God’s will. “We cannot outdo him in generosity.”
He also recommended staying close to the Blessed Mother and to entrust himself to her guidance.
The Rev. Mr. David Voss
The Rev. Mr. David Voss and the Rev. Mr. Benjamin Green will be ordained to the priesthood at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at St. Francis of Assisi.
Deacon Voss said after his ordination he is looking forward to the “undeserved privilege” of celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.
“Since I have been away from home for so many years going to school,” he said, “I also am really looking forward to being back in the diocese. Manhattan, St. Paul, and St. Louis, have been great for education, but every time I come home and see our parishes and our priests, I feel a sense of peace.”
Deacon Voss, the son of Edward and Claire Voss, members of St. Patrick Parish, Wichita, has been studying at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, and said he would miss “the great meals.”
“That’s not the most important aspect, but it is a part of the community life that I have been part of for so many years,” he said, adding that there are many benefits of men living together who strive for perfection.
“I look forward to the transition into the brotherhood of the priesthood in Wichita which I have always viewed as very strong and one of the most envied aspects of our diocese.”
Voss said his parents have been extremely supportive and very helpful, if not a bit nervous.
“What is truly edifying is seeing my parents working with the larger parish community and even other parents of seminarians to take care of all of the plans for the weekend,” he said.
Voss said everyone seems to be happy that he has found what God is calling him to be.
As for recommendations to young men thinking about studying for the priesthood, he said, “Never doubt that God has great things planned for your life.”
He said he likes the analogy of a general preparing for the most important battle of the times. “Do you want to be the one to go off and do your own thing, your own plans, your own goals, or do you want to be the one who helps out in any way he can? Take a long honest look at your heart and say, ‘I want to do whatever you want me to do.’”
The Rev. Mr. Benjamin Green
The Rev. Mr. Benjamin Green said he can’t wait to be home in Kansas.
The son of John and Catherine Green, members of Holy Cross Parish in Hutchinson, he has been studying at Mount St. Mary’s.
“I am looking forward to being able to celebrate Mass, but am most excited about hearing confessions,” he said. “Putting on that purple stole, and being a minster of God’s mercy is something very special to me.”
Green said he will miss the sports he played at the seminary and those last minute impromptu games.
But his family is excited to be a part of the ordination. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work and prayer to get me here, it will be a happy celebration.”
Green had a pithy response to the question of what he would say to a young man considering the seminary: “Don’t be a wimp.”
“There are a lot of excuses out there not to follow your vocation, but do you know more than God?” he said. “Remember entering seminary is not being ordained, it’s a time to pray and discern, to learn, and to grow into a better man. Call Fr. Simone, he’ll set you straight.”