October 29, 2015
Diocesan seminarian, Deacon Doug Krebs, is one step closer to the priesthood.
Krebs was among a class of 39 seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome ordained to the transitional diaconate during a celebration of the Eucharist on Oct. 1.
His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, was the ordaining prelate at the Ordination Mass, celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, in the Vatican.
“The diaconate is a very important step towards the priesthood, but it can't be just looked at as a step, since it is a sacrament,” Krebs noted. “So, in itself, it is very important for my particular way of salvation. It has been an incredible thing to serve so close to the altar. It has become very real that I am laying my life down for Christ as a servant.”
In his homily, Cardinal Dolan spoke to those about to be ordained about the paradoxes of the Christian faith, which are manifested in the Ordination Rite itself. “You were called forth and were said to be found worthy, and yet we began our prayer with an acknowledgment to God of our sinfulness. You come here freely and yet will make a promise of obedience to your Ordinary. You are raised up to serve at the altar, yet in a moment you will lie down prostrate in a symbol of submission to the supplication to the saints on your behalf.” Cardinal Dolan continued that this is all perfectly fitting in the Basilica dedicated to the Apostle Peter, whose own martyrdom, on a cross upside down, allowed him more clearly to see right side up the Jesus whose love he had come to imitate.
“At the beginning of the ordination as we were processing in, I had a lot of feelings of unworthiness. I even wept a little bit, and I am not a very emotional guy,” Krebs said. “I looked back on my life, and I can't believe that God is actually calling me to be his instrument as a deacon and then as a priest. As we walked out of the sacristy at St. Peter's, the first thing we saw is a mosaic of Acts 5, where Ananias falls over and dies, because he didn't give everything to the Church. It was a strong reminder of what my life is now. I need to give everything in my life to God and His Church.”
During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy and obedience to their diocesan bishop. The new deacons will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood in their home dioceses.
Krebs is looking forward to that final year of formal study in Rome. “I still have plenty to learn before I am ordained a priest on May 31. It will be very enjoyable to be with all the seminarians from the Diocese of Bismarck for one more year. It will be also hard to leave the seminary in Rome, because it has had such a huge impact on my life, and I will never forget my four years at the Pontifical North American College.”
— Some information provided by the Pontifical North American College in Rome.