From The Catholic Key
By Marty Denzer
KANSAS CITY - Three seminarians will be ordained "transitional deacons," on May 17, one year before their ordinations to the priesthood.
Christian Malewski, 29, decided he wanted to become a priest because "I truly felt that this was what God was calling me to.
"There was much initial resistance on my part," he wrote in an e-mail from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, where he is in his third year of Theology studies. Prayer brought a sense of clarity and the feeling that there was a genuine need in the Church for more priests and the priesthood would be a great way to be of help to others, he wrote.
A member of St. James Parish in St. Joseph, Malewski received a bachelor's of history from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and studied pre-Theology at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo. He chose Kenrick-Glennon for his Theology studies because of its reputation for solid priestly formation. It is also fairly close to home, which is important to him.
Malewski hopes to eventually "become just a simple parish priest". He is interested in fostering holiness within families and parishes provide unique opportunities to interact closely with families, he wrote.
For Duc Nguyen, 39, the story of his call to the priesthood goes back to his family's escape from Vietnam.
"I remember those who helped us on the boats," he wrote in an e-mail from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., where he is in his third year.
"I don't know whether they were priests or seminarians, but definitely they were leaders in the faith and they were very heroic. I remember they used to organize us to pray the rosary on the boats and afterwards in the refugee camps. We would get up and pray the rosary together and sign hymns to the Blessed Mother together as we were escaping Vietnam."
After they arrived in the United States, Nguyen remembered that the priests who had come over from Vietnam were like Moses for them, caring for the Vietnamese people when they arrived - their material needs, but especially their spiritual needs. For Nguyen, that was most important. "I saw them as real leaders of God's people, and from there true happiness came. I remember when I was small we had a lot of tradition of priests, and thinking of them as I was growing up were probably the happiest moments of my life."
Nguyen hopes and dreams of offering his life to help others have the joy of seeing God face to face in heaven.
Angelo Bartulica, 34, is the fourth of five children born to Croatian immigrants Nicholas and Bozica Bartulica. A member of St. James parish in St. Joseph, Bartulica at first hoped to pursue a career in federal law enforcement. But God was calling me to the priesthood, he wrote in an e-mail from Mundelein Seminary near Chicago where he is in his fourth year of Theology.
He attended Conception Seminary College for pre-Theology, and then chose Mundelein Seminary. When he entered seminary, he wrote, the choice was between Mundelein and St. Meinrad in Indiana for Theology. St. Meinrad is a Benedictine-run seminary, so Bartulica chose Mundelein, which is run by the Archdiocese of Chicago, in order to broaden his formational experience.
Bartulica hopes that as "a deacon and eventually as a priest, I may effectively spread the Gospel message and lead people to a more intimate relationship with Christ through his church. My dream is that there be an end to the divisions between Christian denominations and that one day all the people in the world will embrace the Catholic faith."
The three seminarians will be ordained transitional deacons at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in St. Joseph on May 17.
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