Seven Legionaries have been ordained transition deacons: Andrew Gronotte LC, Andrew Kolenda LC, Peter Krezalek LC, Aaron Loch LC, Daniel Rolczynski LC, Ryan Richardson LC and Brett Taira LC.
They were ordained at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Michigan City, Indiana by His Excellency, Donald Hying, Bishop of Gary.
Fr John Connor LC, director of the North American Territory, wrote of the significance of this event in a letter to the territory’s priests and brothers:
Thy Kingdom Come!
Dear Fathers and Brothers in Christ,
Happy Feast Day of the Transfiguration! Greetings from Sacred Heart Apostolic School where we have just concluded a beautiful day of celebrating the diaconate ordinations of seven of our brother Legionaries: Andrew Gronotte LC, Andrew Kolenda LC, Peter Krezalek LC, Aaron Loch LC, Daniel Rolczynski LC, Ryan Richardson LC and Brett Taira LC
They were ordained at 11:00 am this morning at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Michigan City, Indiana by His Excellency, Donald Hying, Bishop of Gary. Afterwards His Excellency accompanied the newly ordained deacons and hundreds of family members and friends at a lunch and reception at Sacred Heart Apostolic School. Our General Director, Fr. Eduardo Robles-Gil LC, also joined us for the ordination Mass and reception.
What a blessing for the Legion and the Church is the gift of these seven new deacons. As Bishop Hying mentioned in his homily, we thank the Lord for the generosity of these young men who have offered their “yes” to the Lord constantly over these last several years and continue to do so today. We thank them for their faith and trust and for persevering with their “yes” during these years of crisis and renewal. We thank the Lord immensely for the gift of these vocations to help us serve the Church and the world at such a critical time in history.
All of us know the difficulties and challenges that face us now and in the future. More than ever it is essential that we give everything to the Lord in our mission to evangelize a very secular culture. The Church needs everything we have and are. We cannot hold anything back. Pope Francis last Saturday in Krakow, Poland inspired the priests and seminarians to leave behind a life of mediocrity, of fear and of self-seeking, and to give themselves whole-heartedly to the joy and adventure of evangelization.
“In other words, the life of Jesus’ closest disciples, which is what we are called to be, is shaped by concrete love, a love, in other words, marked by service and availability. It is a life that has no closed spaces or private property for our own use, or at least there shouldn’t be. Those who choose to model their entire life on Jesus no longer choose their own places; they go where they are sent, in ready response to the one who calls. They do not even choose their own times. The house where they live does not belong to them, because the Church and the world are the open spaces of their mission. Their wealth is to put the Lord in the midst of their lives and to seek nothing else for themselves. So they flee the satisfaction of being at the centre of things; they do not build on the shaky foundations of worldly power, or settle into the comforts that compromise evangelization. They do not waste time planning a secure future, lest they risk becoming isolated and gloomy, enclosed within the narrow walls of a joyless and desperate self-centredness. Finding their happiness in the Lord, they are not content with a life of mediocrity, but burn with the desire to bear witness and reach out to others. They love to take risks and to set out, not limited to trails already blazed, but open and faithful to the paths pointed out by the Spirit. Rather than just getting by, they rejoice to evangelize.”
Saint John Paul II Shrine – Kraków, Saturday, 30 July 2016
These words from the Holy Father should encourage all of us to renew our “yes” once again with total self-giving and joyful enthusiasm. If God dwells within us he will fill inflame our hearts with happiness, courage and zeal. And if we are faithful to the Lord and the mission he has given, many men, women and children will be transformed by Christ through the Movement, our schools, our youth work and our other apostolates.
In that same homily Pope Francis reminds us that, “Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world. And he wants it to do this just as he did. He was not sent into the world by the Father to wield power, but to take the form of a slave (cf. Phil 2:7); he came not “to be served, but to serve” (Mk 10:45) and to bring the Good News (cf. Lk 4:18).” Saint John Paul II Shrine – Kraków, Saturday, 30 July 2016
Fathers and Brothers, this is what we are called to do. This is our mission. To go out and bring the Gospel to every corner of contemporary culture with evangelical charity and humility. There is so much suffering in the world today because of a lack of Christ. The violence in our country and our world is a clear sign of this. We need to beg the Lord for the grace to be faithful to our Legionary vocation so that God, through us, will cure the wounds of this broken world.
I pray that the Transfigured Lord will continue to transform your hearts and minds. Please keep our new deacons in your prayers as well as our fourteen candidates in Cheshire and the sixteen boys in the summer program at Sacred Heart. May each one of us be those holy apostles that our world today is crying out for.
With my prayers and blessings in Christ, Fr John Connor, LC