Two ceremonies set — Three will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 19, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. Ten will be ordained to the priesthood at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, in the Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Bishop Carl A. Kemme will soon ordain 13 men for the Diocese of Wichita. Three will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 19, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. Ten will be ordained to the priesthood at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, in the Church of the Magdalen in Wichita.
Magdalen is being used because the church is able to accommodate the larger number of friends and family expected for the ordination to the priesthood.
Those to be ordained to the diaconate are Andrew Dellasega, Kurt Pauly, and Matthew Siegman. To be ordained to the priesthood are the Rev. Misters Michael Brungardt, Garett Burns, Isaac Coulter, Matthew Davied, Nicholaus Jurgensmeyer, Michael Kerschen, Chris Martin, James Schibi, Todd Shepherd, and Derek Thome.
Those to be ordained replied via email to questions about their upcoming ordinations.

Transitional Diaconate

Drew Dellasega
Drew Dellasega, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg, said joy fills his heart as his ordination draws near.
“I am grateful to the Lord for his call and this opportunity to take this concrete step forward toward service to the church as a priest,” he said. “Likewise I am profoundly grateful for all those who have supported me, first and foremost my parents and family, along with the priests of our diocese and faculty members of the seminary who have each played a unique role in my preparation.”
He is the son of Douglas and Julie Dellasega of Pittsburg.
He said he has learned a lot in the past eight years while preparing for ordination and is eager to share that with the faithful of the diocese.
For those who believe God is calling them to the priesthood or religious life, Dellasega said the first step is being open to God’s call. Then they should pray: Jesus, what are you calling me to?
“We should make this simple prayer repeatedly and in time, through persistence and a true desire to God’s will, what he desires for us will be made known to us. We should never be afraid of what God wants of us, for he will give us the grace to persevere in whatever it is he calls us to.”

Kurt Pauly
Kurt Pauly, a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Garden Plain, said during the first few years of seminary it seemed like ordination was so far in the future that the day would never arrive.
“But then, before I knew it, it was only a few weeks away. As the day draws near, I grow increasingly excited and I thank God for all the blessings he has given me over the years. I am eager to have the opportunity to serve the Wichita diocese as a transitional deacon.”
Pauly, the son of Jerrold and Cindy Pauly of Cheney, said the time he has spent in the seminary has been some of the most blessed years of his life.
“One of the most important decisions I made while discerning a vocation to the priesthood, prior to entering the seminary, was to meet with a spiritual director,” he said. “He helped me to see more clearly God’s will in my life. My advice, then, for anyone discerning a religious vocation would be to meet with a spiritual director or their parish priest. Discernment should not be done alone.”

Matt Seigman
Matt Seigman, a member of All Saints Parish in Wichita, said one word comes to mind: “Finally!”
That’s a common reaction from someone waiting five years, he said.
“I’m thrilled that I’m getting ordained, and I feel impatient to get started with the ministry,” he said. “I’m surprised at how fast the years have gone. It seems like only yesterday I was leaving my engineering job at Learjet to enter seminary.”
He said he’s a little nervous about ministry. “I’m being entrusted to preach the Word of God at Mass, to baptize children into the Church of God, to witness marriages, and even more. This is an awesome responsibility! I’m comforted by my trust in God, knowing that he will provide when I lack.”
Seigman, the son of Alan and Julie Siegman of Wichita, said he is grateful to God for his vocation and the graces he has received to follow his will.
“I’m grateful to the bishop for calling me to orders. I’m grateful to the seminaries in St. Louis and Chicago for forming me into a holier, happier, and better person. I’m grateful to the priests of Wichita who have helped me grow, who have supported me, and who have given me good counsel.”
He said he is also grateful to the faithful of the diocese for their support and especially his family for raising and educating him in the faith.
Anyone who believes they may have a religious vocation should discern that call with a priest.
“All of the priests I know are happy to help a man discern his vocation, even if it isn’t a call to the priesthood,” he said. “You don’t have to be perfect to enter seminary.”
Siegman said it’s the seminary’s job to help a man be the person God wants him to be. “Always work to grow into that person God wants you to be: never be anything but yourself. Whatever your vocation, God is calling you to it!” He said.

Priesthood

The Rev. Mr. Michael Brungardt
Deacon Brungardt said he is thinking of those who have helped him as his ordination draws near.
“First and foremost, it is the Lord himself,” he said. “I remember as a young teenager feeling his presence and inviting me down a path I was not yet ready to walk,” he said. “But his gentle guidance, his gratuitous mercy, and his unending patience guided me to where he always wanted me to be.”
Deacon Brungardt said his family – the first to form him in the faith – never left his side and were quick to call him out regarding anything in him that needed work.
He also is thinking of the people of the Diocese of Wichita, he said.
“I remember during my first summer teaching Totus Tuus how struck I was at the faith and vibrancy which existed here in our diocese. It was then that I knew that I could lay down my life for these people,” he said. “I often think of that summer, and find great comfort in knowing that these are the people I will get to spend my entire life with.”
Deacon Brungardt, the son of Jerry and Cas Brungardt of Wichita, said he has one statement for those considering a vocation to the priesthood: “Risk everything on the Lord!”
“I know the fear and trepidation that surround that tugging in your heart, that gentle whisper, that feeling you cannot seem to shake. I remember all that was laid out before me that I could have taken up: the careers, the opportunities, the relationships. And yet, none of these seemed to satisfy.”
He said as soon as he had any one of those other options within his grasp, it failed to give him what he had expected.
“It wasn’t until I took that first step, that first risk, that life opened up to reveal a whole new horizon,” Deacon Brungardt said. “In sending his Son into the world, the Father risked everything on us! And all the Son, Our Lord, asks in return is, ‘Come, follow me.’”
What that will be, only God can reveal, he said. “But I know for certain, risking our idea of what we think our future should look like on what the Lord has in mind – this risk will not leave you empty.”

Garett Burns
The Rev. Mr. Garett Burns, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said although he is excited about becoming a priest, he is probably just as excited to not be a student.
“Above all, I am humbled and grateful to God for this call and to the people of Wichita for their endless prayers, love, and support,” he said.
Deacon Burns said a vocation to the priesthood is meant to be received more than achieved.
“Begin the process of receiving this gift by growing daily in prayer, humility, and acts of selflessness. Certainty will be near impossible to find, but it comes down to trust in Jesus. If he has called you, be not afraid and cast out into the deep!”
He is the son of Pat and Jackie Burns of Wichita.

Isaac Coulter
The Rev. Mr. Isaac Coulter, a member of Church of the Resurrection in Wichita, quoted Adam in the second chapter of Genesis as his ordination to the priesthood nears: “At last!”
Deacon Coulter said those discerning a vocation should shut-up, listen to God, and throw themselves into the “waters of life.”
“You desire adventure, risk, and crazy joy,” he said. “That’s found in recklessly doing the will of another – or else life is boring chaos. Don’t over complicate things.”
Deacon Coulter, the son of Bryan and Jodi Coulter, said God will let a person know about their vocation in quiet of one’s heart.

Deacon Matt Davied
The Rev. Mr. Matt Davied, a member of Church of the Resurrection in Wichita, said seminary formation prepares a man for one thing: ordination to the priesthood.
“After all these years of preparation, I am excited to fulfill the vocation, the purpose, that the Lord has placed before me!” He said.
Men who believe they may have a vocation to the priesthood should stay close to the Lord, frequent the sacraments, Davied said. “He will lead you where you are designed to be, and that is thrilling, truly thrilling, to lead the life you are meant to live.”
He is the son of Greg and Kelly Davied of Wichita.

Nicholaus Jurgensmeyer
Nicholaus Jurgensmeyer said he is excited to serve the people of the Diocese of Wichita. “I know this is what God is calling me to do and that gives me a great peace,” he said.
Jurgensmeyer, a member of St. Joseph Parish in Baxter Springs, and the son of Terry and Debbie Jurgensmeyer of Miami, Oklahoma, said he is looking forward to “serving the people of the diocese in a capacity I have never been able to before. I am also excited to see the different ways in which God will work through me after ordination.”

Michael Kerschen
Michael Kerschen, a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Garden Plain, said “it’s a bit surreal” knowing his ordination to the priesthood is so close.
“Who knows what is waiting on the other side? Not me,” he said. “The mystery of it all scares me, but I know that seminary formation has prepared me well to embrace this new mode of living with the hope and confidence of a Christian.”
Kerschen, the son of Martin and Lila Kerschen of Garden Plain, said anyone interested in the priesthood should know the Lord is faithful to his promises.
“If he is calling you to the priesthood, he will give you all you need to be happy there,” he said. “You are the Father’s joy! No doubt about it, it can be scary. And there are moments when it will feel impossible, but your yes to his call causes the heavens to rejoice and the earth to be glad.”

Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin, a member of Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard, said as his ordination nears he is grateful for the faithful of the diocese.
“I keep on reflecting how much kindness and support I have received from others. I am truly blessed,” he said.
“My second thought would be to express just how much I am yearning to be in a parish, to be ‘in the trenches’ with the people that I know and love. After all of these years of preparation and prayer, I am willing to do whatever God wants me to pursue; to serve all of you in our diocese, as a reflection of Jesus Christ.”
Martin, the son of Don and Shirley Grimm of Goddard, said he would tell a man considering the seminary that it is not going to be easy, but formation will reveal how special God has made him.
“Seminary is there to help a man form himself to Christ, but your formators are with you all the way if you let them be,” he said. “Be truthful, reveal yourself in prayer and all other aspects of your life.”
Martin said a friend once told him that if anyone has any inkling God is calling him to the priesthood – give it a shot. “I have remembered this throughout all of my years in the seminary. Well, give it a shot, and God will let you know his plan for you along the way.”

James Schibi
James Schibi, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Parsons, said he is overjoyed about his ordination and grateful for all who supported him and prayed for him: the faithful of the diocese, the seminary faculty staff, and family and friends.
“I am also relieved and excited that my years of seminary are done and I can now be a priest for the people of the Diocese of Wichita,” he said.
Schibi, the son of Vince and Mary Schibi of Parsons, said a priest once told him that following God’s will, especially a priestly vocation, is the surest path to get to heaven.
Men considering the priesthood should, “pray every day for your vocation,” Schibi said, “and don’t be afraid to take the next step and go to seminary. I thank God, every day that he gave me the courage to do just that.”

Todd Shepherd
Todd Shepherd, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita, said as his ordination nears he is grateful to God for his calling, for his parish, and for Catholic education.
“I am equally grateful for going to great seminaries that have helped give me all of the tools I need to be a good priest,” he said. “At this point, I recognize that I have received what seminary has to offer, so now I am ready to fly away from the nest. After eight years of concentrated preparation, I can confidently say that I am ready to be a priest to live my life in sacrifice in order to help lead others closer to Christ.
Shepherd, the son of Thomas and Sheila Shepherd, said a man considering the priesthood should listen to the stirrings of his heart in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
“If in silence the idea of seminary or the priesthood gives you joy and excitement, God is calling you to go to the seminary,” Shepherd said.
“If doubt or fear enter in, ignore it for it is not from God. Do not let discernment be a roller coaster of joy one day and fear the next, but rather keep your gaze on Christ and his will for you.”

Derek Thome
Derek Thome said he’s glad to be finishing his 11th consecutive year of college but humbled by what lies before him.
Thome, a member of St. John Parish in Clonmel, said,
“To finally serve as a priest of Jesus Christ is a remarkable gift that has been given to me,” Thome, a member of St. John Parish in Clonmel, said. “At a recent baptism, it struck me that this was a moment where the young child received her vocation. This thought not only resonated with me in terms of how I preached at the baptism but on the significance of my own baptism and the many years of formation that have happened since Christmas Eve 1988.”
He said it had been a privilege during the last six years to grow closer to God and the heart of his son, Jesus Christ, under the maternal protection of our Lady at Mount St. Mary’s.
“The different assignments I have had in the diocese have helped to develop a priestly heart, a heart that will surely need continual growth in the priesthood,” he said. “I look forward to celebrating the Mass, being present in the confessional, and ministering to the various different needs of our diocese.”
Thome, the son of Howard and Jean Thome of Viola, said he also looks forward to – as St. John Marie Vianney said – bringing to others the joy of the priesthood, the love of the heart of Jesus Christ.
He said many men can’t believe or won’t embrace the idea that they are being called to be priests and reminds them that God will “equip” those he calls.
“This was part of my story, and it wasn’t because I thought I was one of the equipped,” he said. “We can run from God’s voice or from discerning God’s call for us for a number of reasons.”
Those reasons may include an aptitude for success in the world, past sins or inadequacies, and not recognizing God’s gifts to live out a vocation to the priesthood.
“God desires us to fall deeper in love with him regardless of what vocation we are called to – we are called to holiness,” Thome said. “Fostering a prayer life allows your relationship with God to grow and it allows you to more easily hear his voice. Our relationship with Christ makes us more free, free to hear his voice, free to fall deeper in love with him, and more free to say yes to the vocation he has called us to.”

Both ordinations will be streamed at YouTube.com/DioceseOfWichita.