Surrounded by the Benedictine community of St. Peter’s Abbey, Brother Paul Paproski, OSB, was ordained a deacon May 28, 2005 by Bishop Albert LeGatt.
Paproski, the son of Ardel and Freda Paproski of Hudson Bay, is studying for the priesthood at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe Pennsylvania.
Deacons assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the Eucharist, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals and in various ministries of charity. The office has its origin in Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles, when seven men were selected to assist the apostles in ministry.
The role of deacon is one of service – something all are called to, said the bishop in a homily before the ordination.
“We are made for service, because we are made in the image of God, and God is service,” said LeGatt. “That image of God as servant might surprise us a bit. God, as Lord and master of all: that God is not a power that breaks, demands, crushes, as so often power is in our world.”
Christ is our model for service, he said. “In being ordained a deacon and in carrying out that ministry and that truth in your life from now on, it is to Christ you are called first and foremost. He is the servant of servants … the Lord has shown us the way. He said ‘I came not to be served, but to serve.’ He bent down and washed feet, he broke bread, shared the cup, said ‘this is my body, this is my blood,’ and went forth to the cross.”
The bishop urged the new deacon to ground his service in prayer, and prayed that he would receive strength from God and those around him. “Let your service be filled with joy and with generosity … Let it be filled with peace, let it be filled with peace-making, at the service of reconciliation. Where there is division bring the service of healing words and healing action. Be at the service of those who most especially are in need of service.”