LINCOLN (SNR) - Three men are in the final stages of formation and preparation before they become priests of the Diocese of Lincoln.
They will be ordained Saturday, May 28, by Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz. All are invited to attend the ordination Mass, which will begin at 11 a.m. at Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln.
Deacon Craig Clinch
Deacon Craig Clinch is the youngest of Jerry and Judy Clinch’s five children. As he was growing up at St. John the Apostle Parish in Lincoln, his pastor frequently encouraged him to pray that he would know his vocation and be able to say yes.
So, Deacon Clinch stayed open to the possibility of a priestly vocation.
"There were little signs along the way," he said. "The great witness given by the priests at my parish and the priests who taught me at Pius X High School helped me see that the Lord calls men to be priests and that there is great joy in the priesthood."
Deacon Clinch compares the formation process to training for a race: some days are easy and others are just plain tough.
"But if you remember why you are there, that the Lord is calling you, the Holy Spirit is at work and that it is part of the preparation, He provides the grace to persevere," he assured.
He will celebrate his first Mass at the parish of his youth, and then it will be time to start serving in the parish of his first assignment.
Deacon Clinch said, "I am looking forward to administering the Sacraments, being part of a parish family, and also teaching."
He expressed his gratitude to the people of the Diocese of Lincoln: "I am grateful for your prayers, your faithfulness to your vocations, and your generosity in making it possible through your financial support to help me answer the Lord’s call to serve Him and His Church and to share in His Priesthood."
Deacon Adam Sughroue
Growing up in McCook with one sister and two brothers, Deacon Adam Sughroue attended St. Patrick Parish with his parents, Ed and Margaret.
"I had many wonderful examples of priests growing up," Deacon Sughroue said.
From time to time, he thought God might be calling him to the priesthood, but he held back.
"I doubted that I was smart enough or holy enough to be a priest," he admitted.
Instead, he went to McCook Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in elementary education.
Still, he said, "I talked with God about the possibility of being a priest. Then I listened as best I could."
His discernment continued as he attended St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward and Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
"My formation has been wonderful," Deacon Sughroue stated. "At times, hard, but always rewarding."
Now, his formation process is coming to an end as he prepares to be ordained. He will celebrate his first Mass at Saint Patrick Church in McCook on Sunday, May 29 at 3 p.m.
"I am looking forward to bring people to Jesus Christ through the Sacraments!" he exclaimed.
"I am extremely grateful to the people of the Diocese of Lincoln for their constant support over the past seven years," Deacon Sughroue said. "I hope that my first parish will be patient with me as I begin my priesthood. I hope to do for them whatever they need from me."
Deacon Matthew Zimmer
Growing up in Firth, Deacon Matthew Zimmer attended St. James Parish in Cortland until his parents moved to Lincoln two years ago. He has two brothers and three sisters.
Deacon Zimmer first started considering a call to the priesthood when he was in the sixth grade, but pursued a career in computer programming first. A great deal of prayer, "especially novenas" led him to the seminary, where his discernment continued.
"I became more and more certain that this was the path God wanted for me," he said. "The final confirmation did not come from my feelings, but rather through the Church when the bishop accepted my petition letter and called me to the priesthood."
Deacon Zimmer is eager to celebrate the Sacraments. "Especially the Eucharist and hearing confessions," he added.
He will have his first opportunity when he celebrates Mass at St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln on May 29.
"My greatest hope is that whatever I bring to any parish are whatever gifts God has given to me so that I can help bring people to him," Deacon Zimmer said. "I always want to be a help for people seeking God and never be a stumbling block."
He offered his thanks to the people of the Diocese of Lincoln.
"The prayerful support that I’ve received is much appreciated, and I ask that you continue to pray for me as I enter into this next phase," he said,
"Also, I’d ask that all the people of the diocese continue to pray for vocations and to continue to support those men who are currently studying for the priesthood."