by Joe Bollig
TOPEKA — The three newest archdiocesan deacons were told that they, as living symbols, proclaim the truth of Christ with a power beyond words.
Nathan Paul Haverland, Daniel Patrick Schmitz, and Quentin Tyler Schmitz were ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 19 at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish in Topeka.
“You are allowing the Lord to use you to become living signs and symbols of the truth of his Gospel,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in his homily. “Your life from this day forward proclaims with a force and a power that mere words cannot, that Jesus Christ is real and that he is indeed Our Lord and Savior.”
Archbishop Naumann was the homilist and ordaining minister. The concelebrants included Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher, Abbot Barnabas Senecal, OSB, Father Randy Soto of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, and approximately 25 priests of the archdiocese.
The time the three men serve as deacons before their ordination as priests will be short, Archbishop Naumann noted. And yet the vestment of the deacon, the dalmatic, is the symbolic foundation of their new life.
“It is no accident the ministry of deacon is the entrance into the ordained ministry,” said the archbishop. “The priest and the bishop do not cease being deacons. One of the requests [the ordinands] had for me today was to make sure I wore my dalmatic, as if I didn’t have enough layers of vestments.”
The diaconate is the foundation of the ordained ministry because of its fundamental call to a life of service, said the archbishop.
In addition to their commitments to lead lives of service, the new deacons also made commitments to lives of celibacy and obedience to the archbishop and his successors — all in contradiction to the values of this world, said the archbishop.
During the promise of the elect, each of the three men stood and pledged to fulfill the duties of the diaconate. Then, they prostrated themselves on the floor during the Litany of the Saints. Next, each man approached the archbishop for the laying on of hands and to receive the Book of the Gospels.
Deacon Nathan Haverland was vested by Msgr. Michael Mullen, Deacon Daniel Schmitz was vested by Deacon Oswaldo Sandoval, and Deacon Quentin Schmitz was vested by Father Mitchel Zimmerman.
Each of the three deacons will continue their studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Their tentative date for ordination to the priesthood is May 25, 2013. The location will be announced later.