Conferral of holy orders last major step before ordination to the priesthood, God willing, next year

DETROIT — Taking the final step in their discernment journey toward priesthood, six seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary became deacons this weekend.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Fisher presided at the ordination of Colin Fricke, David Pellican, Andrew Mabee, John Carlin, Mark Tibai and Bro. David Brokke, SOLT, at 10 a.m. Saturday morning at Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s chapel.

The six men, who are entering their final year of theological studies at Sacred Heart, are now “transitional” deacons. Their ordination confers upon them all the faculties of the ordained diaconate — proclaiming the Gospel and preaching at Mass, presiding at baptisms, weddings and funerals — with an eye toward their hopeful ordination as priests next year.

Five of the men — with the exception of Bro. Brokke — are transitional deacons for the Archdiocese of Detroit. Bro. Brokke was ordained for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, a religious order whose seminarians study at Sacred Heart.

After ordination, the new deacons will serve summer internship assignments at parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Pellican, 24, of Assumption Grotto Parish in northwest Detroit, reflected on his journey toward ordination, saying God has taught him and his classmates to listen carefully to His still, small voice in their discernment.

“Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist has always been at the center of my vocational discernment,” said Pellican, who will serve his internship at the Church of the Holy Family in Novi. “The deepest moments of clarity about and acceptance of God’s call to the priesthood are never when I try to reason through my future on my own, but when I sit quietly before Jesus in the Eucharist, open to hearing his word.”

Fricke, 32, a former Catholic school math teacher who will serve at St. Fabian Parish in Farmington Hills, said Eucharistic adoration has also been influential in his discernment, saying Jesus brings “great peace, healing, insight and discernment” through his presence in the tabernacle.

“If you do not spend time with Him there, you should, even if it is a small amount of time,” Fricke said.

Fricke added Sacred Heart’s formation program has provided a “balanced environment” for the seminarians to grow spiritually while also learning to be men of love, fortitude and humility.

“Ultimately God is the One who died for us to save us from sin and to allow us to share in His divine life,” said Fricke. “The sacraments give us a share in God’s divine life. When we are immersed in the mystery of God’s love, we begin to understand that God loves us even in our weaknesses.

“Sin separates us from God, of course, but underlying our sin is usually anxiety, sadness, fear, or condemnation about something,” Fricke continued. “I think we too often hear the voice of the accuser rather than trustfully surrendering ourselves to God in the present moment. Being honest with God about our weakness in prayer and going to confession are two great helps for living in the love of God.”

Watch the ordination

The ordination was livestreamed on the Archdiocese of Detroit and Sacred Heart Major Seminary Facebook pages.