It is with great expectation and anticipation that we prepare this issue of the Gray Robes for you. In six short weeks there will be a buzz around Holy Redeemer Church as we welcome visitors to celebrate with us three encouraging and exciting moments.
On Friday April 14th, two of our brothers—Br. Adam Schmitzer and Br. Joseph Spears—will profess their perpetual promises at an evening Mass. This step, in a sense, confirms the work of God in these men, bringing discernment to its fulfillment and grafting them to the mission that God has entrusted to SOLT in the Church and in the world.
The following day, Saturday April 15th, Br. Joseph will be ordained to the diaconate at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. This marks a major milestone of the Lord’s work in Br. Joseph’s life towards incorporating him into His one holy priesthood. At the same time, the diaconate is not merely a step in the process, but is itself a goal, an “end”: a sacramental moment that is not moved through, but rather takes root and lives on into priesthood. It is the first of three degrees of ordination where Br. Joseph is united with Jesus in his diakonia or service. From henceforth, all his good works will be imbued with a unique “flavor” of the Lord himself, who seeks out the lost and forsaken. Br. Joseph will join Jesus kneeling at the Last Supper to wash the feet and serve the needs of others, to be united to Jesus’ self-sacrificing act of service in free self-immolation on the cross.
Finally, on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16th, Br. Joseph will deliver his first homily, in English and Spanish, and begin to know the Lord’s own nourishing of His people through the Proclamation of the Word. Although it is to some degree nerve-wracking, preaching as one chosen and sent by Jesus in the most personalized way possible is a unique mode of intimacy with Jesus, wherein He shares His joy at making His Father known and seeing His children be healed, fed, and strengthened.
We humbly ask for your prayers for these men and all our men in formation, as we too intercede and ask the Lord to bless you in the role you have played in their journeys.
Peace and blessings,
Fr. Mark Wendling, SOLT