Seminarian talks about becoming a deacon
Seminarian: David Voss
Currently enrolled: Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
Parish: St. Patrick, Wichita
Parents: Edward and Claire Voss
What are your thoughts and feelings as you approach ordination to the diaconate?
As ordination comes closer and closer, my heart is continuously filled with gratitude: gratitude to God for His super-abundant grace, gratitude to Bishop Jackels and those who assist him in the Diocese for their formation, and gratitude to all of my family and friends who have given me so much support while in seminary and before.
God has been filling me with a sense that He is ultimately in charge of my life and that I need to put all of my trust, all of my hope in Him. Am I nervous? Yes and no. Yes I’m nervous about the great responsibility that is approaching. In another sense, I am not nervous about the ordination itself because God has been leading me in this direction for a long time, I receive the sense from Him sometimes that He is saying, “How can I be any clearer? This is my plan for you, it is time.”
How will you celebrate Easter this year?
I will be home at St. Patrick’s for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. That will probably include serving at the Cathedral for part of the Triduum with Bishop Jackels, as is his custom. I always look forward to Triduum every year. I’ve taken the custom over my years of seminary of going on retreat during the time I’m not serving in the parish. This time is always very grace-filled as it coincides with the Crucifixion of Christ and His resting in the tomb on Holy Saturday. As for the rest of Easter, I’m planning on going back to school to finish the semester, witnessing my classmates’ ordinations, and ultimately getting ordained myself. Praise God.
What does this time, Lent and Easter, mean to you as you prepare to become a transitional deacon?
My first spiritual director in seminary happened to also be the founder of Teens Encounter Christ. His own spirituality and the spirituality he built into the retreat founded in the years following Vatican II is centered on the Pascal Mystery, the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the same model for Lent and Easter and the same approach that I hope to take towards ordination. “Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die, it remains a single grain, a grain with no life.” (John 12:24). The great paradox of Christian life: to live is to die and to die is the only way to live. In ordination, David Voss becomes “deacon” and hopefully in the future “Father.” My entire life will be take up in not just this change of title or change of profession, but change of who I am: a servant for the Church as the word “deacon” means in the Greek. May God make it so.