Deacon Michael Schultz to be ordained

Deacon Michael Schultz, who will be ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville June 1, processed into the annual Chrism Mass March 26 at the Cathedral of the Assumption. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

As an altar server in the fourth grade, Deacon Michael Schultz started paying close attention to the life of priests and realizing the important role they played in the life of the faithful.

That’s when he first heard a call to a priestly vocation.

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre will ordain Deacon Schultz along with Deacons Matthew Millay, Kenneth Nauert, Yen Tran and Van Tran at 10 a.m. on the first day of June at St. Michael Church, 3705 Stone Lakes Drive.

Deacon Schultz, 26, was born in Sibiu, Romania, and raised in Louisville after he was adopted by his parents, Kathleen and Greg Schultz. 

Since he first felt his vocational call, several people — living and dead — have helped form and strengthen him along his journey, he said during a recent interview. 

Deacon Michael Schultz

“I loved serving Mass” at St. Athanasius Church, his home parish, he said. “Father Terry Bradshaw was very supportive and I realized how much people depend on priests and the amazing things priests can do in people’s lives. A priest is there for all the occasions of life, joyful and sad.” 

His vocational call was strengthened when he met Father Gary Davis, a priest who Deacon Schultz said, “stood in the person of Christ” in the life of his parishioners. Father Davis, he said, considered himself to be “the luckiest man in the world.” 

“I can say that about being ordained a deacon, and I know I’ll say that about being a priest,” said Deacon Schultz.

Several other priests, including Father Jeff Leger — who taught him how to pray and “trust God completely” — helped form him, too, he said.

His late grandmothers played an important role in his early formation. 

They “were vital examples of what it means to live the faith, vital examples of laying down their lives, which is what I understand priesthood to be,” he said. “I’ve always had a connection to the saints. I include in that both my grandmothers, who have passed.” 

In addition, his devotion to St. Thérèse the Little Flower “gives me a lot of strength,” he said.

As his ordination draws near, Deacon Schultz said he’s been reflecting on the priesthood.

“There’s definitely a part of you that remembers how small you are in the big picture,” he said.    

Reflecting his roots in Romania, he can preside over rituals in both the Roman Catholic and the Romanian Catholic traditions. 

He’s excited for the opportunity to celebrate the “sacraments, no matter what rite, making the Lord present on the altar, making the Lord present in someone’s heart when they come to confession, making the Lord present in the soul of a child at baptism, and bringing the Lord to comfort someone in the anointing of the sick,” he said.

“I’m excited and anxious to celebrate the Eastern rite liturgy. Excited, because I’ve studied liturgy and because I’m Romanian,” he said. “It’s a beautiful and personal connection to my personal story. I’m anxious because it’s new to me but I’m learning it. It’ll be very special.”

Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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