Congratulations, belated as they may be, are in order. My spiritual brother, Michael Rustick, was ordained to the diaconate on December 22 at his home parish in Rahway, New Jersey. The only picture I have seen of the event was taken with a camera phone immediately after the ordination. It shows the new Fr. Deacon looking mildly befuddled, standing next to his mother, who is beaming and looking not at all befuddled. I completely identify with the look on Fr. Deacon’s face, having worn it myself about a year ago.
I have known Fr. Deacon Michael for several years. We started together in the diaconal program at Christ the Savior Seminary, and are almost the only survivors of the group that began in the fall of 2004. We share a room at the seminary, and have spent many an evening in conversation. After all of that time, I can honestly say that I deeply value his friendship and counsel.
I will tell a tale on my friend. At the seminary, for reasons that we cannot fathom, sleep is hard to come by. In the middle of one long night last fall, I was awake as usual, and Michael was uncharacteristically sleeping. I heard him start thrashing around, muttering in his sleep, and then, by the light of the moon, I saw him sit bolt upright in bed. “Matthew! Mark! Luke! John!”, he cried out, and then immediately fell back asleep.
Clearly, he was ready for ordination.
Congratulations, my friend. Many years to you, in the service of God!