Seminarian Chris Pugh, is the editor of Exiit Qui Seminat – the newsletter of St. Joseph Seminary. He interviewed Chad Miciak who will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 17 at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Basilica. The ordination will be livestreamed. Miciak is studying to be a priest for the Archdiocese of Edmonton. His hometown is Camrose.
CP : So Chad, I recently heard you have been called to the transitional diaconate, what was that moment like for you?
Chad: Well there are two aspects that come to mind. One is great joy, as in I came to the seminary in hopes of becoming a priest and that’s what I … it could be what I’m called to. So I came to the seminary to discern and when I got called … I guess you could say I was very happy that I achieved the first major step towards the priesthood. I had achieved that moment when I received the letter.
The second part is that I still don’t feel worthy to be called to the priesthood … that I am still very nervous about being called to the priesthood, but the people around me recognize that I am being called to the priesthood, the formation team recognized that I am being called to the priesthood, and then to hear it finally from the bishop that he is calling me to Holy Orders, to the diaconate, was kind of like “Oh wow, the Church recognizes that I am being called to the priesthood.”
I am being called to the priesthood. Which is both with great joy and delight but at the same time there is still a lot of nervous, anxious, energy within.
CP: Your diaconal ordination is set for May 17, what are you doing to prepare for that?
Chad: Well the first thing that comes to mind is I have to go out and buy clerics! I can’t believe I have to go out and buy clerics, that is very exciting, and I can’t wait to go make that purchase.
And the first week of May is when I am planning to do what is called a canonical retreat which is a five-day silent retreat in preparation for Holy Orders. I am looking forward to that and then that’ll leave me with about 10 days to … I don’t know…pray.
And I imagine with the COVID- 19 restrictions the way they are now that last kind of stretch could be figuring out who I can invite to be there for my big day, which might be some tough decisions, especially if restrictions are still pretty restricted.
CP: After you receive ordination to the transitional diaconate, the priesthood won’t be far behind, how does that make you feel?
Chad: Well once again very nervous, but very excited, and I am very excited to serve the people of God and there is great nervousness because I know I am still … I still feel very unworthy and weak but it’s amazing to know that even through my own weakness that Christ will be working through me and that whatever I do in His name will … that power and that grace will be flowing in … coming out of me and I’ll be able to administer these graces to the people of God. Yeah, I kind of can’t wait to get there. Yeah.
CP: You’ve been in seminary formation now for six years, coming to the last year and a bit of your formation, what advice do you have for seminarians who are either just starting or are in the middle of their formation?
Chad: To take it serious right off the start, to just try your best to give yourself to God in a life of prayer and be open to the changes that you are being called to make. Because it doesn’t … those changes don’t get easier the closer you get to ordination.
It’s still tough, like looking back, there are still aspects of my prayer life that I wish, ‘I could have been doing this years ago!?’ Not that my prayer life is weak but it’s like I still want it to grow so much and it’s … I feel like I could have done that better if I didn’t resist the change that I was being called to throughout.
But I guess that’s part of weakness and part of growing and growing in union with God. Try not to struggle, just change when you feel that change being called upon you!