By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
ST. JOSEPH — Prepare for a bonanza of priests.
On May 17, Bishop Robert W. Finn ordained eight men to the transitional diaconate, the first rank of Holy Orders before their ordinations as priests of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Another two men who are completing seminary studies in Rome will be ordained as transitional deacons this fall at the Vatican.
All 10 will be ordained priests within the next year.
The eight ordained at the Cathedral of St. Joseph are:
• Rev. Mr. Bryan Amthor, who has been assigned this summer to assist at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.
• Rev. Mr. Joshua Bartlett, who has been assigned to assist at Christ the King Parish in Kansas City.
• Rev. Mr. James Carlyle, a former Anglican priest who will be ordained to the priesthood this fall under the Pastoral Provision and has been assigned to administrative and pastoral service at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Independence.
• Rev. Mr. Ryan Koster, who has been assigned to assist at St. John LaLande Parish in Blue Springs.
• Rev. Mr. Gabriel Lickteig, who has been assigned to assist at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in St. Joseph.
• Rev. Mr. Jorge Andres Moreno, who has been assigned to assist at St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City.
• Rev. Mr. Luis Felipe Suarez, who has been assigned to assist at St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, north.
• Rev. Mr. Curt Vogel, who has been assigned to assist at St. Elizabeth Parish in Kansas City.
The two seminarians completing their studies in Rome are:
• Alex Kreidler.
• Andrew Mattingly.
“I have claimed them for the church in the name of Jesus Christ and you have confirmed that call. Thanks be to God,” Bishop Robert W. Finn said in his homily in the packed cathedral.
Bishop Finn reminded both the congregation and the newly ordained that while ordination as deacons is a step toward priesthood, it is an important step filled with deep meaning.
“From your mothers’ womb, God has known you, called you, readied you with his grace for this moment,” the bishop said.
“This is a summons to service after the example of Jesus Christ, and you have said ‘Yes’ to his invitation. Your lives are about to be changed forever as you receive a new sacrament, Holy Orders, in the rank of deacon,” Bishop Finn said.
Bishop Finn offered special thanks to the families of each man.
“You too have waited and prayed for this day — an important and meaningful step on the way to priesthood,” he said.
“We thank God for the gift of life and faith and love that has helped our brothers hear God’s call and answer with generosity and trust,” Bishop Finn said. “I thank you for the gift you are offering to the church in sharing your loved one with Jesus Christ in this way.”
Bishop Finn had special words, in Spanish, for Deacons Moreno and Suarez, natives of Colombia, and their families and friends.
“I greet their families and so many faithful friends who have come to support Jorge and Luis Felipe,” he said in Spanish. “How grateful we are that these two good men are dedicating their lives to serve our diocese.”
Bishop Finn also urged the congregation to continue to pray for the new deacons.
“Pray for our brothers that they may persevere in this call,” he said. “Knowing that this ordination to the diaconate begins their final preparation for ordination to the priesthood, pray that they may carry out their duties in such a way that they will grow each day in love for Jesus Christ, in love with his church, and with a greater zeal for preaching God’s Word, for administering the sacraments, and for inspiring and guiding us all by sound teaching and example.”
Bishop Finn also urged the new deacons to continue to grow closer to God as they serve his people.
“Strengthen yourself daily with God’s Word, given to us not only in the Sacred Scriptures but also in the church’s Magisterium,” he said.
“Nourish yourself daily with the Body and Blood of Christ offered up for us in the Eucharist,” he said.
“Meet the Lord frequently in the Sacrament of Penance. This is so important if you are to grow in the holiness of life required by your sacred ministry,” he said.
“Pray each day the Liturgy of the Hours for the salvation of the entire world,” he said.
“Let your devotion to Mary, our mother and queen, and to St. Joseph, patron of the universal church, and all your holy patrons deepen your love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask them and allow them to guide you to your sacred ministry on a path toward heaven,” Bishop Finn said.