Four men to be ordained to the diaconate

By RUBY THOMAS and KAYLA BENNETT


Four seminarians, bringing a variety of gifts and charisms to the church, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Louisville March 25.


Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre will ordain Matthew Millay, Yen Tran, Kenny Nauert and Van Tran at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville.


They will join Deacon Michael Schultz, who was ordained to the transitional diaconate on Feb. 18.


Following ordination, the men will begin a final year of preparation for the priesthood.


“I’m just so grateful for their willingness to say yes to ministry in the church,” said Father Martin Linebach, who serves as interim vocation director. “They’re all five different and bring a variety of gifts and charisms to the church.”


Father Linebach added that his message to the men is to “just be yourself and do that well.”


The ordinands are:

Matthew Millay


Matthew Millay, 26, holds a Master of Arts from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology where he is currently in formation for the priesthood. He is the son of Harold and Kimberly Millay. His home parish is St. John the Apostle Church in Brandenburg, Ky.


Millay, whose hometown is Guston, Ky., is the second of four sons.


The diaconate “invites one to show concern for the poor and vulnerable” and following ordination, said Millay, he is most looking forward to “being of service to the people of God” and extending charity to them in a “tangible way.”


He’s also looking forward to the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel, preach and celebrate certain sacraments, all of which will allow him to extend Christ’s presence to members of the faithful, he said in a recent interview.


“I’m excited to encounter people as a deacon, a minister of charity. It’s an immense and sacred opportunity to extend Christ’s charity to the people of God,” he said.


Yen Tran

Yen Tran, 34, is from the Diocese of Vinh in Vietnam. He currently attends St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He is the third of six children. His home parish in the Archdiocese of Louisville is St. John Vianney Church.


Tran said he was inspired to follow a vocation to the priesthood because he had plenty of examples. Three of his siblings and approximately 600 members of his boyhood parish, Thanh Da, have pursued a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, he said during a recent interview.


Encouragement from his siblings and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary have helped him with his vocation, he said.


As his ordination to the transitional diaconate draws near, Tran said he is excited and looking forward to being more present in parishes and “being closer to the people.”


“The most important thing is to serve the people,” he said.


Kenny Nauert

Kenny Nauert, 26, was born and raised in Louisville’s South End. He’s the oldest of four children born to Kenny and Dee Dee Nauert. His home parish is St. Lawrence Church. He attended Notre Dame Academy and DeSales High School.


A graduate of St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, Nauert now attends Theological College and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.


He said the diaconate year will offer a chance to learn “about the dynamics of parish life more concretely, especially as I serve during Mass as a deacon instead of an altar server.”


Over the summer, he’ll be assigned to a parish in the archdiocese.


“What I’m looking forward to most for my diaconate year is being able to come home to Louisville and minister as a deacon,” he said. “Being able to encounter the people in the parishes I’ll be working at and growing closer to them in my ministry as a deacon, encountering people in their most intimate moments of life and looking to where God is leading me in those moments.”


He asks that the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Louisville keep him in their prayers as they are in his.


“As I’m ordained and become more available to the people, please pray for me and support and foster vocations to the diaconate and priesthood because God’s people deserve good and devoted ministers,” he said.


Van Tran

Van Tran, 34, is from Long Hai village in Ha Tinh province, Vietnam. He attends Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology in Cincinnati. His home parish in the Archdiocese of Louisville is St. John Vianney.


Tran began his journey of priestly formation a decade ago, when he enrolled in the Xa Doai Pre-Seminary program. He said being ordained to the transitional diaconate is an “important milestone” in his life that shows “God has a plan for me that I never thought possible since I started (this process) in Vietnam.”


“I’m very excited about it,” he said. “I’m grateful to be here.”


He said he’s looking forward to being assigned to an archdiocesan parish for the summer and to meeting the Catholics of the archdiocese.

Father Linebach said the men will have opportunities to serve during parish weekend assignments as well as during their pastoral assignments over the summer. The diaconate is a ministry of service and that will “take form in many different ways. … They’ll have to work hard,” he said, adding that he’s confident all the men are up to the task.

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