Two men to be ordained to the priesthood Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010 -- 1:00 AM
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We are filled with hope by Fr. Paul Arinze, director of vocations

MADISON -- With praise and thanksgiving to God, our Father, the Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, announces with joy the ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ of Rev. Mr. Chad Droessler and Rev. Mr. John Putzer.

The ordination will take place on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison.

St. Maria Goretti Church is wheelchair accessible. There will be assistive-listening devices for the hard-of-hearing and a sign language interpreter for the deaf. Large-print leaflets will be available.

Deacon Chad Droessler
Deacon Chad Droessler

Parents: Jane and Greg Droessler (from Cuba City, but raised in the Kieler area)

Home parish: St. Rose of Lima, Cuba City

Educational background:

  • St. Rose of Lima Elementary School, Cuba City
  • Cuba City High School
  • University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: earned private pilot's license
  • Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa: Bachelor's degree in philosophy
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (STB) and Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies

Intern experiences: Office of Vocations, Diocese of Madison (summer 2006); St. Mary and St. Augustine Parish, Platteville (summer 2007); St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee (summers 2008 and 2009); St. Maria Goretti Parish, Madison (summer 2010)

First Mass of Thanksgiving: Sunday, Dec. 12, 12 noon, St. Rose of Lima Church, Cuba City

Deacon Chad Droessler: Reflections on Ordination

In this season of Advent, we joyfully prepare our souls for the coming of the God through the Incarnation. And, it is with that same joyful expectation that in a few short days I, along with my classmate Deacon John Putzer, will be ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Quite vividly I can recall the days when I first seriously considered joining the seminary. I had shortly left my lifelong dream of being a commercial pilot and I was mourning the death of my grandmother. Undoubtedly, these were days filled with feelings of uncertainty -- what does God want for me in my life, where was he leading me?

With these feelings of unrest, I decided to join seminary more out of curiosity since I was not thoroughly convinced that God was calling me to the priesthood. Additionally, I cannot really say that there was one big moment that was the "tell all -- be all" sign that I should become a priest. Rather it was a gradual process of growth, maturing, and a deepening prayer life that helped me to see the picture of God's plan more clearly.

The words from the prophet Jeremiah so beautifully portray God's subtle, yet sure workings in my life: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you" (v.5). For all of eternity God knew that he wanted me to become a priest, and when you find that pearl of great price, your soul will find lasting and enduring peace; you cannot help but respond. Indeed, change takes time and growth is slow, but the Lord patiently waits for us to draw ever closer.

In my six years of seminary I have learned a lot about what it means to live life as an ordained man -- a life steeped in prayer; a life of humble charity that is in constant service of the Church and the people of God; a leader, a teacher, and a herald of the Gospel; a defender of truth and a witness to, and holder of the mystery of faith; a life infused with virtue, a life of charity, obedience, and celibacy for the sake of the kingdom; a life sound in character and identity; and above all, a man who is in love with God and his Holy Church.

Sound like a tall order? Well, it is! Truthfully, the promises of ordination carry much in the way of responsibility, and left on one's own accord one could never fully live all of these commitments, let alone even one. Herein lies the heart of the matter: that ordination is God-given, it is God who gives us the gift of ordination, it is God who calls us and fashions us in the secret of our hearts, unworthy though we may be.

Therefore, the same God who calls us, who fashions us will also abundantly supply the grace needed to be the worthy instruments of healing, hope, and salvation for the whole world. Ordination to the priesthood ultimately entrusts a gift which has been handed on in faith and trust, the gift of bringing the sacraments to the world.

Humbly, I ask for your prayers in the coming week, as Deacon Putzer and myself prepare to receive this most precious gift from God and Holy Mother Church.

Deacon John Putzer
Deacon John Putzer

Parents: Mary and David Putzer, Oshkosh

Home parish: Grew up at St. Jude Parish, Oshkosh; before entering the seminary, St. Paul University Catholic Center, Madison

Educational background:

  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School, Oshkosh
  • St. John Neumann Middle School, Oshkosh
  • Our Lady of Lourdes High School, Oshkosh
  • St. Andrew's College Seminary at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.: Bachelor's degree in philosophy
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: Bachelor's degree in Sacred Theology (STB) and Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) with a specialization in moral theology

Intern experiences: Summer intern at: International Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation, New Jersey; Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish, Sun Prairie; St. Joseph Parish, Dodgeville; St. Henry and St. Bernard Parishes, Watertown

Deacon placement: Serving the Sunday Community at the American College of Louvain, Belgium

First Mass of Thanksgiving: Saturday, Dec. 11, 1:30 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Madison

Deacon John Putzer: Reflections on Ordination

Having spent the past five and a half years in the seminary, I have grown quite accustomed to hearing the question, "So what caused you to enter the seminary and consider the priesthood?"

I always respond by pointing to three primary influences and sources of encouragement. The first is my own relationship with God and my desire to trust and serve Him with a particular devotion to His presence in the Holy Eucharist. The second is my family -- especially my parents -- and their witness to living out their Catholic faith.

The third factor -- and the most immediate one in my decision to enter the seminary -- is my involvement at Saint Paul's University Catholic Center and the deep friendships formed there. Without my time at UW-Madison and the spiritual growth that I underwent through my experiences at Saint Paul's, I doubt that I would have said "yes" to God's call to serve Him as His priest.

I grew up in Oshkosh, Wis., as the third of four children, and my parents were always very intentional about instilling in us the Catholic faith that they themselves held so dearly. They offered -- and continue to offer -- to me a beautiful example of what it means to be a Catholic Christian.

But it wasn't until I left home and started studying chemical engineering at UW-Madison in 2003 that I started taking my faith and prayer life seriously on a personal level. At Saint Paul's I met other young men and women who were also excited about being Catholic and deepening their relationship with God. My time at St. Paul's was one of both spiritual growth as well as encouragement. It is from the context of the faith community at St. Paul's that I made the decision to enter the seminary.

In the fall of 2005 I began seminary formation at St. Andrew's College Seminary at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. One of the great blessings from my time in New Jersey was encountering the Liturgy of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The vice rector of my college seminary is "bi-ritual" which means that he celebrates the Mass in the Roman Catholic rite as well as an Eastern Catholic rite (in his case, the Ruthenian rite). On the weekends I was able to serve at Divine Liturgy in the Ruthenian parishes where he celebrated Mass.

In 2007, Bishop Morlino decided to send Chad Droessler and me to study theology at the American College of Louvain in Belgium. My time there has been filled with many unique opportunities, and my studies in theology have been challenging and rewarding. On October 15 of this year, Chad and I were ordained deacons with Kevin Barnekow, our classmate from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, by Bishop Morlino in Belgium. Since the ordination, it has been a great privilege to serve at the altar as a deacon.

It is with great joy in my heart that I return to the States and to the Diocese of Madison to serve as a priest of Jesus Christ. I am profoundly humbled by the many graces, blessings, and opportunities that I have received over the years -- especially for the countless prayers and endless support of my family and so many friends.

I will be offering a Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday, Dec. 11. at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish in Madison in gratitude to God for all these gifts and most especially for calling me to be His priest. "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 (Psalm 116: 12-13)."

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