07 May 2019

My friend got ordained as a Transitory Deacon Friday night.

My friend finally got his Call to Holy Orders a few weeks ago after much prayers, hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and copious amounts of loss of sleep trying to get the proverbial raccoons lined up for their pizza crusts.

This person is one of very few that I call 'friend,' and it was an honour to be able to see him be brought forward for our Bishop to lay hands on him and formally hand him the authority that comes with the office of Deacon.

When he was called forward to the altar along with the other Diaconate Candidates, the joy just radiated off him so much, that it was overwhelmingly contagious.  There are no words I have to fully describe the peace, the love that was in that room when Bishop Brennan did his pronouncements over these young men, my friend included.  My friend's face just had this look of, 'It's happening.  Thanks be to God, this is finally happening, this is real!'  Don't tell him I said so, but I suspect if he could've, he'd have sprinted up there.  ;)

Seriously, though, I had never been to a ceremony like this one before, but I have had many conversations with God (begging Him, really) to make this happen.  I knew it would come to reality, but this person is super important to me, so I wanted to be sure to express that to God.  I love praying for people, and when my friend was preparing for this next big step in his journey toward the Priesthood, I kept asking him, 'how can I help you with [whatever assignment, study for final, etc] to make things a bit easier?'  He'd always respond with, 'Just please pray for me.  That's all I ask.  Pray. Pray some more.  And when you're done, pray some more.'  I don't know that I've prayed so hard for any one individual in all my life, to tell you the truth!  And I've prayed pretty hard for people going through whatever situation they needed to come out on the other side of as unscathed as possible.  To be able to pray for someone whose situation is quite different than anyone I've ever prayed for was nothing short of, 'So... God... Please help my friend, if You wouldn't mind?  I'd really appreciate it!  He wants to be a priest so bad, he wants to serve You and I know he's going to be amazing at it.  You know that, too, I know You do.  I also know that You are the one Who called my friend to this, so I know You've got this all under control.  I don't know what else to say here, Lord, but thank You for everything, and most especially thank You for helping my friend.  He's pretty rad, isn't he?  Thanks for moulding and shaping him this far, and thanks for what You've got planned for him in the future.'  A lot of times, it's 'Lord, please help my friend!  Thank You!' and I'd ask Mama, of course, to help him out, because Mama takes care of her kids!  And boy, does she!

My friend has such a big, big heart for God, and for His people.  In the nearly four years I have known him, I have learnt so, so, so much about prayer, about the Bible, and if I'm honest, he's really helped yank me out of my shell.  +shakes fist+  He's been such a positive influence and force for all of us who know him.  Watching him being brought into the fold of the Diaconate Friday was one of the most beautiful things I've ever been able to see.

There was, of course, a full Mass, celebrated by our Bishop (this was at his parish, at the Cathedral).  During the homily, he'd stated something that really resonated.  I know he was addressing the young men being brought forth, but at the same time, one can't help but take certain little gems and say, 'maybe this is God trying to snap His fingers to draw my attention in this area...' because he said, and I am BADLY PARAPHRASING HERE, 'Don't worry about the opinions others have of you.  It only matters what God says!'  When the Bishop was pronouncing these things over my friend and his fellow new Deacons coming into the Diaconate, I admit I cried.  It takes a big, big, big heart to answer God's call with that radical 'Yes, Lord, send me.  I will lead Your people to You.'

Congratulations, Deacon Gordon and to your fellow new Deacons!  May God bless you all abundantly in the coming years!

Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd.
You know each of us
and You call us by name
to serve You in faith.
Help us respond generously to Your voice.
Give courage and guidance
to those You call to the Priesthood
and the Diaconate,
to Religious life and lay ministry,
so they may respond wholeheartedly
and serve devotedly.
We ask this
through Christ our Lord.

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