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Two local men ordained transitional deacons, on track for priesthood in 2025

Bishop Cepeda ordains Deacons Patrick Bruen, 66, and Benjamin Schroder, 25, on April 13 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary

by Gabriella Patti

Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda ordained two seminarians to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Detroit on April 13 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Newly ordained Deacons Patrick Thomas Bruen and Benjamin John Schroder are on track to be ordained priests in 2025.

Bishop Cepeda’s message to the two men in his homily was simple: “God has chosen you, and he has a plan.”

“Today, we witness that plan after years of formation … for the two of you, it seems like centuries,” Bishop Cepeda said. “Now is the time for you to come before our God and say, ‘Yes, here I am. Yes, I am ready for the mission. Yes, I am here with a humble heart, with an open heart to serve your people.'”

The ordination Mass was closed to the public, but family, close friends, priests and seminarians joined in witnessing the men newly ordained to the diaconate. The Mass was available via livestream for public viewing.

Deacon Schroder, 25, from St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township, is studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, while Deacon Bruen, 66, from Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, is completing his studies at St. John XXIII Seminary in Boston, which forms men studying for the priesthood later in life.

Bishop Cepeda wryly explained that the diaconate began with a complaint — the apostles needed help, and God responded in kind by installing deacons as the ministers of Jesus Christ.

“We are not here to complain; we are here to give thanks to God. God has a plan,” Bishop Cepeda said. “More than ever, the world needs to hear the good news proclaimed. They need to know about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and they also need to see our deeds, for they speak loudly to the world. We are here to transform the world according to God’s will.”

Following their ordination, Deacons Bruen and Schroder will assist the archbishop and his priests in the ministry of the word, the altar and charity, Bishop Cepeda said. As deacons, they will be tasked with proclaiming the Gospel, preparing the sacrifice, distributing the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful, presiding over public prayer, assisting and blessing marriages, administering baptism, seeing to the dying and conducting funeral rites.

“That’s what you will be doing, joyfully,” Bishop Cepeda told the two men.

Bishop Cepeda instructed the new deacons that as they perform their duties and works of charity in the bishop's name, they should do so in a way that allows others to recognize them as Christ’s disciples, who came not to be served but to serve.

“As deacons, that is, as ministers of Jesus Christ, who came among his disciples as one who served, do the will of God from the heart and serve the people in love and joy,” Bishop Cepeda said. “Please never allow yourselves to be turned away from the hope offered by the Gospel. God has chosen you. God has a plan. God has a sense of humor. Everything began with a complaint, but today, we are not complaining. We are giving thanks to God, and you will continue to proclaim His good news with your words and with your deeds.”

At the end of Mass, Deacon Schroder offered words of thanks on behalf of himself and Deacon Bruen to those present and to Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.

“I want to end by thanking Mary, the mother of Jesus, our high priest,” Deacon Schroder said. “She has loved us so much from the beginning of it all, and I am convinced that because she remained with Jesus until he died, she will also remain with me until my last breath. I join my voice with hers now to say that truly, the Lord has done great things for us.

This article was originally published on Detroit Catholic.

by Gabriella Patti

Gabriella Patti

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.