Where are you currently in formation?
I am currently in my fifth and final year of formation, and am an Instituted Acolyte; this is the final path toward ordination as a permanent deacon. I serve as an Acolyte at Mass three to four times each week, and the training I receive during these Masses will benefit me greatly after I am ordained as a deacon. I have also received additional liturgical training, assisting bishops, priests, and deacons at special Masses during the National Black Catholic Congress, Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre Masses, and Mass celebrations for the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary.
We are currently taking a course in Liturgy and Sacraments at Notre Dame Seminary, and are receiving practical, hands-on experience in ministering the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage; and presiding at funeral liturgies and burial services. We are also studying Canon Law and Homiletics at the Permanent Diaconate Center on the West Bank in Harvey, LA. In our Homiletics classes, we deliver homilies that are videotaped and critiqued. I am currently preparing to deliver my fifth homily to my classmates, and am becoming more comfortable with preparing and delivering homilies.
What are your next steps?
I have been assigned to Blessed Trinity Catholic Church for my acolyte assignment
with the understanding that this assignment may be where I will be assigned as a deacon. I look forward to serving at Blessed Trinity as well as serving the community and the people of God as a staunch advocate for social justice.
What has been your greatest joy in formation?
My greatest joys in formation have been many:
- My wife and I have established lifelong relationships with our formation community.
- My relationship with my wife has deepened spiritually.
- I have an enhanced knowledge of Scripture that I had never had before.
- I have developed a deepened sense of spirituality, humility, and patience.
What might have been a little harder?
The challenges I have faced are juggling the responsibilities of family, work, and formation. Fortunately, these challenges are not insurmountable, because I have been blessed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the support of my wife and family.
My current challenge is the “hurry up and wait” anticipation, waiting to see which parish we will be assigned to. We are checking the mailbox each day, and will be glad when the wait is over.
What are you looking forward to about being a deacon?
I am looking forward to serving the people of God in my assigned parish and in the community; being ‘persona Christi’ to the sick, dying, incarcerated, poor, and marginalized; and being a staunch promoter of social justice.
How can we accompany you in these last days of formation?
Please pray for our class, my family and me, as we continue our formation journey, and pray that God wills me to be ordained as a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Saturday, June 23, 2018.