Two Will Continue On the Path to Priesthood

Watch the full ordination Mass below:

The Diocese of Gallup officially received four new deacons on Saturday, May 24, when Bishop James Wall ordained four men to the Diaconate Order.

Todd Church and Matthew Lamareux were ordained as permanent deacons, and Joshua Mayer and David Tate were ordained as transitional deacons – “transitional” meaning that they are currently also studying for the priesthood.

Later this month, on Saturday, June 28, seminarian and Deacon Nathanael Block will be ordained to the priesthood – the first priestly ordination for the Diocese in many years.

Tate, a classmate of Block’s and himself a year from priestly ordination, described the process as one of joy.

“Being a convert, I am still growing in my understanding of all things Catholic. Actually, that works to my advantage because it it all so interesting and wonderful. I feel good because I now feel I have been ‘authorized’ to speak about the things I have learned about the Faith. I really feel like an official representative now for the Church. It is awesome.”

Calling on the four men to follow Christ in their vocations, Bishop Wall reminded them and all present at the Mass to “proclaim the Gospel with a great sense of joy and a great sense of love, no matter what the cost.” He also noted that as Deacons, they have many great Saints to rely upon for inspiration, such as Stephen and Lawrence – two early Church martyrs.

Now that the four men achieved the status of deacons, they take on very special duties within ministry in the Church. Preaching, assisting at Mass and with certain sacraments, and being spiritual teachers for their parish communities are some of the tasks for which they are now prepared.

When asked about how he was looking forward to serving as a Deacon, Tate explained that there are two facets of life in the Church which he enjoys.

“The first is declaring the Faith,” he said. “This means giving a homily, and participating in the teachings of the articles of faith. I remember when I worked full time in another capacity, I did not have free time for learning about my relationship with God. I hope to give people what they do not have time for.”

Second, he said, he hopes to visit often with the parishioners in his community.

“I hope to interact with people in what I call a ‘progressional’. It is similar to the ‘confessional’, but in conversational (no sacrament here) so that people can feel free to ask questions without making a special appointment. They can just drop by unannounced.”

Tate also noted that priests and deacons each have unique roles in the Church, even if the diaconate only lasts for a year or so as it does with transitional deacons.

“When one studies knowing that they will become a priest, I think there is the possibility to overlook the joy of being a deacon…both paths bring you greater understanding of the beauty of the Church, the Sacraments, and serving Christ in the religious life.”

Ordination Mass Video Courtesy of David Stacy

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