Nathan Rueb ordained a deacon at St. Peter’s in Rome

Following his ordination to the Transitional Diaconate Sept 27, Deacon Nathan Rueb was all smiles in this photo at St. Monica’s Altar in St. Augustine’s Chapel, Basilica of St. Peter, Rome. (l-r) back row: seminarians Paul Sappington, Jared Samson and Garrett King; (l-r) front: Fr. Alex Kridler, Deacon Rueb, Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. and Fr. Adam Johnson. (Photo courtesy Barbara Rueb)

By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Associate Editor

Barbara Rueb, Deacon Nathan’s mother, contributed her recollection of the ordination and other events in Rome to the Catholic Key, which is the basis of this story.

KANSAS CITY —Rev. Mr. Nathan Rueb was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, Sep. 27.

Nathan is the son of Justin and Barbara Rueb, from Vona, Col. Nathan graduated from Hi-Plains High School, Seibert, Col., and graduated from William Jewel College in Liberty, with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Following an internship in Washington D.C., Nathan was called to the priesthood. He attended St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb., for two years before matriculating at Santa Croce University in Rome, and for the past four years, living at the Pontifical North American College (PNAC). Fellow seminarian Paul Sappington is also at the PNAC.

Seminarians Jared Samson and Garrett King, Father Adam Johnson, diocesan Vocations Director, Father Alex Kreidler of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and a member of the diocesan Tribunal, and Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., all of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, traveled to Rome for Nathan’s ordination.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference, officiated at the ordination Mass. Fr. Kridler vested the newly ordained deacon in the stole and dalmatic. Deacon Rueb’s first Mass assisting as a deacon was celebrated in the Chapel of St. Monica at the Church of St. Augustine in Rome with Bishop James Johnston, Jr. presiding. His mother said, “Nathan started liking St. Monica’s Chapel a long time ago and picked this church for his first Mass because he had prayed a lot there for his family.”

Those who traveled to Rome went on pilgrimage to Nathan’s favorite sites. They had the honor of attending the opening Mass for diaconate week at the Pontifical North American College, and the group was privileged to be guided by a seminarian on tour of the Scavi, the burial place of St. Peter. The excavation of Peter’s tomb started in the 1940’s and continued until the site opened in the 1980’s—the tomb of St. Peter was found directly under the main papal altar, just as tradition has said for nearly 2,000 years.

Barbara Rueb said it “was a very moving experience for all…what a privilege it was to be able to see the actual bones of the man who lived and walked with Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Afterwards another seminarian guided the group on a knowledgeable tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Barbara Rueb also recalled a day spent in Assisi, “to visit the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare. We saw the incorrupt body of St. Clare and the Crucifix of San Damiano, the one through which Our Lord spoke to St. Francis, telling him to rebuild His Church. We also visited the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, in nearby Assisi, in Perugia, the Umbrian region of Italy. This church is built over the Portiuncula (the Little Portion), the little church that St. Francis called his own.”

Deacon Nathan, seminarians Jared Samson and Garrett King were some of those presented to Pope Francis during a General Papal Audience. Barbara said it was a very exciting day. They were seated very close to where the pope rode by in his ‘popemobile’.  She added, “Certainly a highlight in the life of any person, Roman Catholic or not!”

The visitors also had a very informative tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, and their final day was spent visiting the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where relics from the Holy Land brought to Rome by St. Helen, the Emperor Constantine’s mother, are kept.

“The relics,” Barbara Rueb said, “are thought to be remnants of the True Cross of Our Lord, a thorn from His Crown, and a nail from His Crucifixion. The Holy Steps, thought to be the ones from the Praetorium, where Christ walked up to Pilate after His Scourging and Crowning with Thorns were under renovation, so not much was seen, but they are also in this church.  We also visited the beautiful Basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. It is hard to put into words the beauty of these Churches.”

Deacon Nathan remains in Rome, completing his studies for the priesthood. His ordination to the Priesthood will take place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on May 25, 2019. At 5:30 that evening, he will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 6415 NE Antioch Road, Gladstone, and a reception hosted by his parents and the parish will follow in the church hall.


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September 26, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph