On Friday of Easter Week, April 9, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained two seminarians to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The ordinations of Deacon Zach Samples and Deacon Paul Lesupati took place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
During the ordination Mass the two men made promises to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, to be obedient to the bishop and his successors, and took a vow of celibacy. Then Bishop Paprocki laid hands on them and invoked the Holy Spirit with the Prayer of Ordination. The deacons were clothed with the stole and dalmatic and received the Book of the Gospels.
Deacon Samples was vested by Father Steven Arisman, pastor of St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy. “He has been a strong force in helping me to discern priesthood well and has been someone who I can call for advice or just for a good laugh,” he said. “I also chose him because of his closeness to my family. He was our pastor when my mother tragically and suddenly passed away in September 2019, and he walked with us every step of the way through that horrific process.”
Deacon Lesupati chose Father Dean Probst, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Newton and St. Mary of the Assumption in Sainte Marie, to vest him. “Father Dean, as a pastor, is so flexible, always ready to reach his parishioners whenever the need arises,” he said. “I like his pastoral approach by visiting the sick and the elderly, compassion, patience, humble understanding, and above all, his fraternal approach to his brother priests.”
As deacons, the two men can assist at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and give homilies, baptize and witness marriages, and preside at wake and graveside services. They are expected to be ordained priests in spring 2022.