Five to be ordained for the Diocese of Wichita
The ordination to the transitional diaconate is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 23. The ordination to the priesthood will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25. Both will be held in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
The Rev. Mr. Drew Dellasega, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg, and the Rev. Mr. Matt Siegman, a member of All Saints Parish in Wichita, will be ordained to the priesthood.
The Rev. Mr. Drew Dellasega
Deacon Dellasega said in an email reply to questions from the Catholic Advance that “it feels almost surreal” as his ordination date nears. “I am very eager to receive my first parish assignment and to serve a parish family as their spiritual father, celebrating the sacraments for them and sharing with them the good news of the Gospel.”
He said friends and parishioners often comment about how long he has spent studying as a seminarian but that he has a different impression upon reflection.
“While some days and weeks seemed long, the years passed quickly,” he said. “I came to the seminary from high school and marvel at how much I have grown and matured throughout these years, arriving now at the threshold of ordination.”
Deacon Dellasega said he was grateful to those at Conception Seminary College (in Conception, Missouri) and Kenrick Glennon Seminary (near St. Louis, Missouri) for how they prepared him for ordination.
A young man considering the priesthood should be prayerful with the intent of doing God’s will, he said.
“When we strive to do the Lord’s will, we learn to set aside our own selfishness and do whatever God is asking of us,” Deacon Dellasega said. “If indeed someone is being called to a priestly vocation, God will bring that to fruition in time.”
Constantly seeking God’s will, he added, will bring us the greatest joy and fulfillment.
The Rev. Mr. Matthew Siegman
Deacon Siegman said he is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and “bringing God’s love and mercy to his people.”
He wrote that he will remember fondly the fraternity among the Wichita seminarians. “We keep each other grounded, and we are able to help each other grow. I also see that fraternity in our priests, and I’m looking forward to joining it.”
To the young man considering the priesthood, Deacon Siegman says: “Give it a shot! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!”
“Every man should ask himself – honestly – whether God is calling him to do something radically different with his life. Then, he should work through God’s answer with a priest he knows and trusts. The same holds true for the ladies discerning religious life!”
Buster said he hopes after his ordination to the transitional diaconate to inspire holiness as much as he has been inspired by the example of the faithful.
“We are all called to be saints and we all make up members of the Body of Christ,” he said. “As a deacon, I hope to stoke the fire already burning in all our hearts to go forth and sanctify the world.”
Looking back on his life as a seminarian, Buster said, he can see how he has become more confident in himself, but especially in the grace of God. “I was helped to face the truth of God’s unfathomable love for me, even if I feel as if I do not deserve it. I cannot but help to proclaim this love to the world.”
Seminary is time well-spent, he said. Any man considering the priesthood should apply to the seminary to give himself the time and the resources to discern the call in a mature way, Buster added.
“The voice of God often comes to us in a whisper, and our response to him must be, ‘Here I am, Lord!’ God has given us everything, why not give it back to him?”
Charles said as a deacon he is looking forward to giving back to the people of the diocese in the example of Christ the Servant in thanksgiving for the support and prayers he has received over the years. “I am particularly excited for the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel and preach at Mass, as well as the opportunity to bring new sons and daughters into the church through the Sacrament of Baptism.”
He said the greatest joys of his life have been the relationships he has formed with God and with his brother seminarians.
“I have grown as a man of prayer, encountering Jesus Christ…in so many wonderful ways,” Charles said. “I have also been formed by friendships with fellow seminarians, who have challenged me by their witness and taught me the joy of living in relationship with Christ and in true service to others.”
Those relationships have been a constant source of encouragement and growth in his life as a disciple and as a man preparing for priesthood, he said.
A man pondering study for the priesthood should not be afraid to commit, Charles said, adding that there were and still are times when the “gravity and greatness” of the vocation of the priesthood results in anxiety.
“However, I have been constantly invited by Jesus to remember that this vocation doesn’t depend on me or my ability, but on his presence with me and in me,” he said. “No matter one’s vocation, we can be confident that Jesus will reveal his desire for our lives to us and enable us to choose, as freely as we can, to respond with the gift of our entire life. This confident trust is, in my estimation, the key to all vocational discernment.”
Downing said he is looking forward to preaching the Gospel and delivering homilies.
“New life pours forth from contact with the Word of God, and being close to this interior action is a deep grace,” he wrote. “Fruits of my vocational journey are now flourishing in this time of ordination, whether that be the occasion to preach or baptize. That new life in Christ is an indescribable source of joy – the joy of Christ. That is what I am looking forward to the most in ordination.”
Downing said looking back on his years in the seminary, can’t begin to describe the faithfulness and transformative power of God’s grace.
“Time in the seminary has been an absolutely beautiful and a challenging journey with grace, allowing God to create and recreate me continually into the man he desires me to be, one to be offered to others in ministry in the church. The relentless fidelity, mercy, and love of God…stands out in my time of seminary formation.”
To anyone considering the priesthood, he says: pray.
“I cannot describe the importance, necessity, and gift that a life of prayer is. Pray not only for the answer to your vocational question, to get it right or discern, but pray because of the beautiful gift and treasure that prayer is,” Downing said.
“Pray because prayer is ultimately the one thing necessary, for its own sake. Pray for the love of God. And when the light of prayer leads the way, God’s presence does guide us through the questions of our life’s journey. Yet even more and deeper than that, the familiarity, intimacy, and friendship with God will become your ultimate treasure.”