Five to be ordained to the diaconate
Five seminarians studying for the Diocese of Wichita will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita.
The event is not open to the public, but will be streamed.
To be ordained are Matt Glazier, a member of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Madison; Andrew Meng of St. Joseph Parish in Ost; Christopher Rumback of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Hutchinson; William Stuever of St. Joseph Parish in Andale; and Ty Taylor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Mulvane.
Glazier, the son of Kirk and Laura Glazier of Madison, said he is amazed by how God has revealed himself through his five years of seminary study. “It seems like just the other day I was in the application process,” he said in response to a questionnaire. “I began with a desire to follow Jesus by shepherding souls like my college chaplains had done for me. That desire has grown and been transformed into a desire for spiritual fatherhood which is only possible through Holy Orders and true friendship with Jesus.”
Glazier, who studied at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, said he has been praying that God will give him the courage to faithfully respond to the gift of his vocation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed his desire for ordination, he said. “The possibility of having a smaller ordination ceremony and preaching for the first time over a livestream certainly isn’t how I always imagined this happening. However, I know that God’s will is being manifested through this in some way and I try to remain positive, accepting the reality he has offered me.”
With so many experiencing far greater difficulties because of the pandemic, Glazier said, he hopes the ordinations will be a reason for hope and joy for everyone.
Any young man discerning a vocation to the priesthood should “come and see,” he said. “When a man enters the seminary, it doesn’t mean he is automatically called to the priesthood, but he can generously give his time and energy to God and allow his desire for the priesthood to be tested,” Glazier said.
God’s grace will transform him into a new man, he added, and he will either be called to Holy Orders, or he will discover how Jesus is calling him to discipleship and sainthood in another way.
Meng, the son of Dan and Ann Meng of Cheney, said he is grateful God has called him, “an unworthy sinner,” to be ordained to the diaconate.
“I hope that in his abundant mercy God will grant me the grace to die to myself every day so that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,” he said.
Meng, who is studying at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, said the pandemic has “helped me to grow in abandonment to Divine Providence in trusting that God in his perfect omniscience can bring about good from any evil.”
He said any young man who is discerning the priesthood should become devoted to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and spend a lot of time in adoration. “Through this relationship, he will give you the freedom and the knowledge necessary to know what he wants you to do.”
Rumback, the son of Bill and Ana Rumback of Hutchinson, said it is surreal to him that his ordination is just around the corner.
“This year Jesus has continued opening up my heart, preparing me to receive this awesome gift,” he said. “While I’m not perfect, I’m confident that he’s going to work through me, making up for where I lack. That brings me and my brother seminarians so much peace, knowing that it’s all about him, not us.”
Rumback, who is studying at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, said most of his pre-ordination preparation was complete before the pandemic began to affect his seminary community.
“My biggest realization so far has been that in times of crisis, our priorities remain the same: my openness to God’s will and readiness to serve others should still be what guides me, no matter what,” he said. “It’s easier to see the true heroism of priestly ministry in times of crisis. If anything, the current situation attracts me to the priesthood even more.”
He said any young man considering the priesthood should pray with these three questions in mind: What brings me joy, more than anything else? Am I willing to embrace the hardships of my vocation, like Jesus embraced the Cross? Jesus, how are you calling me to fatherhood?
Stuever, the son of John and Regina Stuever of Andale, said he is ready to give his life to Jesus.
“As ordination approaches, I need to focus on deepening my relationship with the one who is calling me,” he said. “I will never be totally ready for everything, but when I rely on him to guide me, I need not be perfect. I must be faithful and have confidence that he has called me to this, and he will always lead me through this.”
Stuever, who is studying at Mundelein Seminary, said the pandemic has affected him as it has everyone.
“The biggest impact it has had on me is to deepen my devotion to the sacraments – especially the Most Holy Eucharist. Our Lord comes to us in the Blessed Sacrament, and in this time of social distancing, many people are not able to receive him. As is the case with our human nature, sometimes we don’t fully grasp how much we need something until it is taken away from us.”
That absence has helped him to better understand how important the Eucharist is, Stuever said. “He wants to be with us. In this time, we can recognize how much we want to be with him.”
Stuever said anyone considering the priesthood should be confident in God’s call.
“It is very easy for us to focus on all the reasons why we are not worthy of being priests,” he said. “But God does not call us because we are worthy. It is very easy for us to focus on all the reasons why we would not be good at being priests. God does not call us because we are perfect. He calls us because he wants us to live this way for him.”
By following God’s will we are led to him, Stuever added.
Ty Taylor, the son of David and Betty Taylor of Atlanta, Kansas, said he is nervous but excited about his upcoming ordination.
“This time of crisis has really been a blessing in disguise, as difficult as it has been,” he said. “It’s clarified my priorities and challenged me to live them more deeply as I prepare for ordination.”
Taylor, who is studying at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, said he has been using Mother Teresa’s J.O.Y. prayer acronym: Jesus, Others, You.
“I have been focusing on a closer relationship in all of these areas,” he said, “making time for deeper prayer and silence to be with the Jesus whom I love; to connect or reconnect with family, friends, and parishioners; and to make sure that I am staying healthy and happy by exercise, good diet and rest, and rejuvenating hobbies!”
Any man considering the seminary should focus on his relationship with Jesus, he said, and be courageous and generous with the gift of life he has been given.
Taylor said those considering the priesthood should not turn prayer into a “thinking game,” where the pros and cons are weighed. “The time for that kind of reasoning is before prayer. Then we bring our decision to Jesus and see what he is telling us and how he wants to love us in the present moment.”
Those considering the priesthood should be courageous, he added.
“We can often let a false sense of caution or prudence creep in and grow like a weed into fear or doubt,” Taylor said. “Caution and prudence are important, but I found myself using them as excuses to run away from what the Lord was asking of me.”
Lastly, he recommended to those thinking about the seminary: be generous.
“Those fears and anxieties can cause us to lack a sense of clarity about our own hearts and the Lord’s call, and to think that God isn’t calling us to one vocation or another,” Taylor said.
“To be generous and practice serving others can help us to fight selfishness and help us to clarify why we are drawn toward or away from a certain vocation as we live out our Christian call to love others.”