||Bishop Robert C. Morlino prays the prayer of ordination over the three candidates for the transitional diaconate — two of whom were seminarians for the Diocese of Madison — during the Mass of Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate at the American College in Louvain, Belgium, October 15. (Photo by Scott Haraldson)
LOUVAIN, Belgium -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison ordained Chad Droessler and John Putzer from the Diocese of Madison and Kevin Barnekow from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as transitional deacons on October 15 at the historic Saint Peter’s Church at the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain, Belgium.
Concelebrants at the Mass included Bishop Richard Spencer, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (seminarians at Louvain have pastoral assignments with the military services in Europe); Msgr. Ross Shecterle, rector of the American College; Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze, director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison; and priest friends and guests of the newly ordained. Msgr. James Bartylla, vicar general of the Diocese of Madison, was one of the masters of ceremonies for the Mass.
A number of priests from the Diocese of Madison attended the ordination, including Msgr. Kevin Holmes, Msgr. Charles Schluter, and Fr. David Carrano, Madison; Fr. David Flanagan, Cuba City; Fr. Monte Robinson, Belmont; Fr. Tait Schroeder and Fr. Greg Ihm, studying in Rome; and Fr. Lance Schneider, Waunakee.
Also attending the ordination were Deacons Jorge Miramontes and Tim Renz, who were ordained as transitional deacons for the Diocese of Madison this year, too.
Family members and friends of the new deacons also attended the ordination in Belgium. Among them were Jane and Greg Droessler, Cuba City, parents of Deacon Chad Droessler, and Mary and David Putzer, parents of Deacon John Putzer, Oshkosh. Mothers of the newly ordained deacons brought up the Offertory gifts.
Following are comments about the ordination:
• Bishop Morlino -- “For me it is one of the most edifying signs of hope for our Church to see the witness given by such excellent men as they dedicate their lives to the service of Jesus Christ and His Church. To be able to preside at the diaconal ordinations of John and Chad as they do the same was a great gift — one which will only be surpassed when so many more from our diocesan family will be able to be present for their priestly ordinations this December.”
• Monsignor Bartylla -- “I’ve known Deacons Chad and John since their entrance to the seminary. Each in his own way represents the best of the Diocese of Madison. Chad comes from the rural part of our diocese and represents that bedrock of faith and beautiful way of life which is such a gift to the Diocese of Madison. John comes from UW-Madison and St. Paul’s University Catholic Center and represents the enthusiasm that our university students bring as the future hope of the Church. Their ordination to the diaconate in Belgium demonstrates the natural and necessary connection of the universal church and the Diocese of Madison, and they will bring many spiritual gifts back to the diocese based on their education, formation, and experience in Europe. We look forward to their priestly ordination in December.”
• Father Arinze -- “As the director of the Office of Vocations, I could not be any happier as I see another two fine young men inch closer to priestly ordination. Their priestly ordination on December, 10, 2010, will bring to a close a remarkable year of vocations for our diocese and usher in with hope the prospects of the coming years. This year, we have seen two men ordained to the priesthood, four men ordained deacons, two of which will be ordained to the priesthood in December. We had four new seminarians join our numbers this year. As I give thanks to God, for the blessings of this year, we continue to implore His blessings in the coming year. Thank you all for your support of promoting vocations.”
• Deacon Chad Droessler -- “It is with much praise and thanksgiving to almighty God that I write today, as a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church! And it is with much joy in my heart that I sincerely thank all those in this diocese who have offered prayers and support for both myself and all religious vocations. Without a doubt any ordination is a concrete moment where we experience the life-giving and perpetual nature of the Church here on earth joined with that of heaven.
“All too often we only hear the negative and problematic issues that the Church faces in our modern world, but my very recent participation in the diaconate ordination boldly reveals that we are indeed a Church built on joy, built on hope, and a Church built on Christ’s promise of salvation for those who sincerely seek him.
“Two moments of the ordination rite stand out vividly, that of the prostration during the Litany of the Saints and being vested in the diaconate stole and dalmatic which fittingly took place right in front of my parents. Let us then rejoice with Mother Church and continue to pray that the work of Christ on earth will continue through the diaconal service of her humble servants.”
• Deacon John Putzer -- “It is a very moving experience for anyone at anytime to be chosen — to be wanted — by another. It is absolutely overwhelming when the person who is choosing you is Jesus Christ Himself.
“During my ordination to the diaconate on October 15 in Louvain, Belgium, I was struck by this reality. Not only do my family and friends offer their acknowledgement and support; not only do the priests in charge of my formation provide their recommendation; not only does the Bishop accept me as a brother servant and spiritual son; but above all Jesus Christ has chosen me to be united to Him in His own love and service of His Bride, the Church. And this choice is not due to any merit on my part. It is only through the grace of God.
“This is a profoundly humbling and awe-inspiring reality. For over five and a half years I have been preparing for ordained ministry, and it is now with great joy in my heart that I proclaim the Gospel, the Good News of Christ, and minister at the altar. In a special way the deacon is united to the chalice that is used at the Mass. It is the deacon who lifts up the chalice while the priest raises the host in order to offer back to our Heavenly Father the gift of His only begotten Son.
“I am filled with awe and gratitude for all the gifts with which God has blessed me, especially that of calling me to be His ordained minister. It causes me to echo the words of Psalm 116: ‘How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.’”