by Joe Bollig
LAWRENCE — The St. Lawrence Campus Catholic Center here was filled with family for the ordination of Deacon Shawn Tunink, 31, on Nov. 17.
And it wasn’t limited to the one that raised him.
In addition to his blood relatives, the seminarian was surrounded by his “other” families — all those wonderful people who loved and supported him along the way to discerning a vocation to the priesthood.
His extended “family” included people from St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lansing where he grew up; Curé of Ars Parish in Leawood and St. Patrick in Kansas City, Kan., where he interned as a seminarian; and Scouts and former Scouts from Lansing Troop 165, which he led as Scoutmaster.
“It was the coming together of the many different families that I’ve been able to be a part of,” said Tunink.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann was the ordaining minister and homilist. Father David McEvoy, O.Carm., pastor of St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception parishes in Leavenworth, and Msgr. Vince Krische, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Prairie Village, vested Deacon Tunink with the stole and dalmatic of the deacon.
Although brief, the transitional diaconate is an important step toward ordination to the priesthood. During his ordination, Tunink received authority in the name of the church to preach, baptize, preside at funerals, witness marriages and serve the faithful through ministries of charity.
As he continues his studies in the seminary, Deacon Tunink is looking forward to his ordination to the priesthood, scheduled for May 24, 2008, at St. Peter Cathedral in Kansas City, Kan.
Deacon Tunink preached for the first time at a Mass on Nov. 18 at the St. Lawrence Center and also conducted his first baptism, that of his nephew Tanner Jacob Krier.
Deacon Tunink was born in Leavenworth but raised in Lansing and was a member of St. Francis de Sales Parish. He graduated from Lansing High School in 1995 and entered the University of Kansas.
He graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1999, and began working for Sprint as a software technician. He also served as a part-time director of liturgy at the St. Lawrence Center. Deacon Tunink entered the University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary for the archdiocese in 2003.