Meet Dcn. Ryan Walters, a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Detroit (Home parish: Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Sterling Heights), who will be ordained a priest later this year.
What was the highlight of your time at Sacred Heart Major Seminary?
The overall highlight was getting to fall deeper in love with Jesus first of all, but on the human level it was being able to cultivate authentic friendships with other men in the house. Being able to have true friends who will soon be my brother priests is something that I truly thank Sacred Heart for. I think this is a critical aspect of seminary life because I will need to have these brothers in my life in ministry, and I will be able to be there for them in the joys and challenges of the priestly office.
What has been one or two highlights of your time serving as a transitional deacon?
I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the parish on weekends at Guardian Angels in Clawson getting to know the parishioners there. Walking with the people of God has been a humbling experience as a deacon due to the trust that they have placed in me as a minister of God.
How are you preparing for priestly ordination?
I am preparing for priestly ordination by immersing myself in Sacred Scripture, maintaining a healthy and active prayer life, and conforming my daily activities to be more in line with what God wants of me, rather than just following my own will. The surrendering of my will to God’s will has helped to conform my heart closer to hHis Sacred Heart and brings me consolation and joy, thus aiding in the process of bringing others to come to know Jesus in their own lives.
What kind of priest do you want to be?
Even though my immediate answer seems broad, it is what comes to my mind first: I want to be a good priest. A good priest is one that prays often, striving every day to live a life of charity through his personal life as well as his ministerial life. A good priest is someone who is approachable, hospitable, kind, generous and self-giving. This is the type of priest I wish to be.
What are you looking forward to after being ordained?
I am very excited to be able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on behalf of the people of God, and to be able to be a tool of mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The authority with which Jesus entrusted the apostles with, being handed down to me, is something I am unworthy of. Through confidence in God and His task for me in my life, I hope with a humble confidence that I will be able to carry out and celebrate faithfully these two amazing sacraments for the salvation of souls.
Please join us in praying for Deacon Ryan Walters during his final months of preparation leading up to his ordination.