Serving from Rome, with love

Kevin Grimditch, a seminarian for the Diocese of Phoenix, poses with 40 other seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome following their  ordination to the diaconate Oct. 3. (PNAC Photo Services)
Kevin Grimditch, a seminarian for the Diocese of Phoenix, poses with dozens of other seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome following their ordination to the diaconate Oct. 3. (PNAC Photo Services)

Kevin Grimditch, a parishioner at Corpus Christi Parish in Ahwatukee, joined Aaron Qureshi, a 1994 graduate of Brophy College Preparatory and 39 other seminarians for their ordination to the diaconate Oct. 3 in Rome at the Altar of the Chair in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica. His Eminence James Cardinal Harvey, Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and former Prefect of the Papal Household, presided.

The family celebration began Sept. 29 with a Mass followed by days for them to explore the Eternal City. Seminarians guided them through St. Peter’s Basilica. Both groups, seminarians and families of those who were ordained, were also busy taking pictures.

I think I spotted newly ordained Deacon Grimditch:

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I’m hearing that other names Arizona Catholics might recognize were supposed to be in attendance as well. I think I spotted Bishop Jim Wall of the Diocese of Gallup. He would be the fourth bishop in. You might also check the following Twitter accounts:

In case you haven’t read Deacon Grimditch’s bio on the diocesan vocations page in awhile, here is a recap.

Kevin Grimditch, right, prays with fellow seminarians and staff at the Diocesan Pastoral Center July 23 (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Kevin Grimditch, right, prays with fellow seminarians and staff at the Diocesan Pastoral Center July 23 (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

There were two main factors that really brought me to consider the priesthood. First, during my junior year of high school, I was invited to, and eventually, volunteered to help teach catechism classes for middle school students at my parish. I really enjoyed teaching and, at the same time that I trying to help the kids in the program grow in their knowledge of their faith and live good lives, I was challenged to really evaluate my life in what I actually knew and how I lived.

This second thing that influenced me to enter the seminary was Eucharistic adoration. My parish has a perpetual adoration chapel and so my junior year I signed up for one hour a week on Wednesday mornings before school. It was in this chapel, in the presence of Our Eucharistic Lord, that I found my call to the priesthood. The humility that arises in the face of the sacred drove me to desire to help people and bring them the joy that I found in that chapel. And once the idea about the priesthood got into my head, I had to see if that was where God wanted me. So at the end of my senior year I started the application process and started college seminary that fall, where I had four growth filled years.

 

All 41 men will continue their priestly formation throughout the academic year, and God-willing, be ordained in May or June 2014. Deacon Grimditch will then return to serve in Phoenix. Deacon Qureshi, the Brophy alum, is a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. According to his alma mater, he will remain in Rome for an additional year of study before returning home.

UPDATE (Oct. 7)

The Catholic Sun heard via email from the newly ordained Deacon Grimditch. Read the full ordination article.

(Oct. 10)

According to a press release from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, one of Grimditch’s classmates plans to become a Navy chaplain upon his priestly ordination. James Hinkle was also ordained a deacon in Rome Oct. 3 and is continuing his priestly formation. Military Archbishop F. Richard Spencer, Episcopal Vicar for Europe and Asia, concelebrated the ordination Mass.

Deacon Hinkle will serve at the altar for the Catholic community at Naval Support Activity Naples during his final year of seminary. The Archdiocese of Arlington seminarian is a former lieutenant and submariner in the United States Navy. He broke the speed of sound in the backseat of an F-16 fighter plane as a private pilot and is a second generation Navy man.

He is also one of at least two seminarians ordained a deacon en route to the priesthood this year as part of a co-sponsored seminarian program. Local dioceses and the Archdiocese for the Military Services support vocations and fill a fast-growing shortage of Catholic chaplains in the U.S. military. For more on the program and the vocation story of a 12-year military veteran, read “Prospective Catholic Air Force chaplain moves step closer to priesthood.