By Katrina Genereux/Staff Writer, OND
Crookston – On June 10, six men entered the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as candidates and exited as the Diocese of Crookston’s newest permanent deacons.
Paul Erickson, of St. Joseph’s, Moorhead; Aaron Kaiser, of St. Joseph’s, Bagley; Mark Krejci, of St. Joseph’s, Moorhead; Mark LeTexier of Sacred Heart, East Grand Forks; Robb Naylor of St. Philip’s, Bemidji; and Timothy Pribula of St. Michael’s Mahnomen, were ordained by Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner.
“Even from early apostolic times, the Catholic Church has held the holy order of the diaconate in high honor,” said Bishop Hoeppner as he welcomed the family, friends, deacons and priests who attended the ordination. “Today our hearts are full and grateful for we receive this morning God’s gift of six new deacons who will serve in this local Church.”
“According to the tradition handed down by the apostles, deacons are ordained by the laying on of hands so that through sacramental grace, they may effectively fulfill their ministry,” Bishop Hoeppner continued. “My friends, we pray this morning that God’s grace may flood the lives of our new deacons.”
After the proclamation of the Gospel, the six candidates were presented to Bishop Hoeppner, who then delivered his homily instructing them on the position and duties of the deacon.
He emphasized their call to assist the bishop and priests in the ministry of the Word, at the altar and in the Church’s work of charity. He specifically addressed Robb Naylor regarding the call to celibacy. Bishop Hoeppner also addressed the wives of the five who are married, saying they are joined in a particular way to all their husbands do in ministry.
The men then answered a series of solemn questions before laying prostrate for the Litany of Supplication. Bishop Hoeppner then laid his hands on each of them as they kneeled before him.
After they were ordained, family members of the brought forward the dalmatics and stoles of the Sacred Office of the Diaconate. Each deacon was vested by a priest or fellow deacon before receiving the Book of Gospels from Bishop Hoeppner and exchanging a sign of peace with the bishop and deacons present for the liturgy.
Following Communion, Deacon Mark LeTexier came forward to address the congregation.
“As you can see, we are all very different … but we have a common thread,” Deacon LeTexier said. “That common thread is a servant’s heart and prayer.”
He then shared about their journey through diaconate formation over the past five years. He said there were challenges, such as completing all of their theology courses online, but their spiritual formation weekends and increased prayer brought them to their ordination day.
“I’ve got to say that the deacon class of 2017 is jacked up with the Holy Spirit … and we’re bringing it back to our parishes,” Deacon LeTexier said in closing. “We have the Gospel in one hand and we’ve got holy water and the rosary in the other hand and we are not afraid to use it!”