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This online version of the Idaho Catholic Register is made possible by those who continue to subscribe to the ICR. If you read the paper online, please consider an annual donation of $20 to the Idaho Catholic Register either through your parish, by contacting the ICR at 208-350-7530, or Donate Here. When you donate through your parish, your parish gets a $3 credit for each subscription. Much of the work of the Diocese of Boise’s Communications Department – videos, social media posts, the online edition and the print edition of the ICR – is supported by your subscriptions to the Idaho Catholic Register. Thank you and God bless you! 

Deacon Joshua Falce’s supporting crew at his ordination includes, from left, Father Dominique Faure, Father Ewald Johannes, Father Caleb Vogel, Deacon Adrian Leszko, Deacon Josh-ua Falce, Bishop Peter Christensen, Deacon Pawel Pawlizsko, Deacon Scott Pearhill, Father John Mosier, Father Michael St. Marie, Father Chase Hasenoehrl and Father Mariusz Majewski. (ICR photo/Vero Gutiérrez)

 

 

COUNTER-CULTURAL CALLING

By Gene Fadness

Bishop Peter Christensen ordained a third deacon in just two months to the Transitional Diaconate on June 6 when Joshua Falce entered the order of deacons in anticipation of his ordination to the priesthood next year. On May 9, the Bishop ordained Deacons Adrian Leszko and Pawel Pawliszko. All three are scheduled to be ordained priests next June. 

“I’ve been reflecting on just how counter-cultural is the event taking place in your life today,” Bishop Peter told Deacon Falce during his ordination homily at St. John the Evan-gelist Cathedral in Boise. 

He noted, in particular, Deacon Falce’s promise to be celibate, to lead a life of prayer, to conform his way of life to be an example of Jesus Christ to the world, and to obey the Bishop and his successors. 

Each of those promises runs contrary to modern thinking, the Bishop said.  “Celibacy makes no sense if you don’t understand the kingdom of heaven,”  the Bishop said. Prayer is an admission of and submission to a power greater than oneself. Christians are also asked to conform their lives to Christ, rather than living the way they want. Obedience to one’s Bishop is to live trusting that there is an order in the Church that, if followed, brings stability to all humanity, the Bishop said.

 

Such obedience sounds strange to generations of people who prefer to say, “I’d rather do it myself,” the Bishop said. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to be obedient to anyone or anything.”

So why, he asked, would Joshua, or any Christian, seek to do these things? The answer, he said, is found in the readings for the ordination, the first of which was taken from Jeremiah 1:4-9 in which the Lord assures Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed in the womb and appointed him a prophet to the nations. “There’s a call and purpose for our lives,” the Bishop said. “It is the Lord who is sending you out to the world in His name. He will assist you in what He has asked of you, as He has done with all prophets, ministers and saints who have preceded you.”

In the second reading from Romans 12:4-8, Christians are reminded that even though the call is difficult at times, the Lord will use the parts of His body – the Church – in ways that best suit those who are called and best suit the Church. “Nothing is wasted when you are surrendered to the Lord,” he said. 

The gospel reading from John 15 reminds the disciples that if they remain in His love, they would bear fruit in Christ’s name.

“How seemingly counter-cultural to have this kind of intimate and loving relationship with God,” a relationship that was never intended to be distant, the Bishop said. 

The Bishop concluded by reminding Deacon Falce that God’s call on his life will make a difference in the lives of others. “It is in your commissioning as a deacon that people will see in you the life that the Lord intends for them,” the Bishop said.

Deacon Falce is a native of Prosser, Wash., but chose to serve in the Diocese of Boise after becoming involved with the St. Augustine Campus Center on the University of Idaho campus, then led by Father Caleb Vogel, the current vocations director for seminarians for the Diocese of Boise. He attends Mt. Angel Seminary. 

Deacon Falce said he was “surprisingly calm,” throughout the Ordination and especially moved as he lay prostrate before the altar while the Litany of Saints was prayed. 

Transitional deacons serve as deacons typically only one year before they are ordained to the priesthood. However, that should not minimize the importance of the diaconal call, Deacon Falce said. 

He recalled a discussion among fellow seminarians who said the promises made by a future priest – the vows Bishop Peter mentioned in his homily – are made during ordination to the diaconate, not the priesthood. 

“Someone reminded me, ‘This was your marriage ceremony,’ ” Deacon Falce said, referring to his diaconal ordination. Further, he said, the element of service that is central to the diaconate stays with the cleric throughout his life. “I shall carry that with me for the rest of my life,” he said. 

Father John Mosier, of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Coeur d’Alene, vested the new deacon. Father Mosier was one of the first Idaho seminarians who Deacon Falce met who led an orientation week before seminary started. “He was such a strong example to me then and through every year in seminary,” Deacon Falce said of Father Mosier. “He is an incredible Catholic and an incredible priest, I hope I’m able to be a priest like him.” Although he did not realize it at the time, Deacon Falce’s ordination fell on the same day as the one-year anniversary of Father Mosier’s ordination to the priesthood. 

Deacon Falce invited Deacon Scott Pearhill of Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Pocatello to be the Deacon of the Word for the ordination. During Deacon Falce’s pastoral year in Blackfoot, he worked on Deacon Pearhill at Confirmation retreats and young men’s discernment groups. “I was so impressed with his example, especially with the way he taught students. I have seen a lot of teachers at churches and universities who teach the subject just to show you how much they know. Deacon Pearhill didn’t do that. You could tell by the way that he interacts with parishioners that it was never about him.” 

 

Deacon Falce’s mother, Elizabeth, said the ordination was “incredibly beautiful and rich in tradition. I was emotional as a mom. My heart couldn’t have been more full of joy and happiness for Joshua.” 

She is not surprised at her son’s call, sensing it perhaps even before he did. “This is a natural thing for him,” she said. “In my mother’s heart, I’ve just felt that this is who he should be. But, of course, he needed to hear God’s call. But, this is just who he is. He has so much to give and share.” 

Elizabeth Falce said she is thankful to all her family, friends, priests, family rosary groups, religious education teachers and educators as well as for the “generous prayers for Joshua from the people of the Diocese of Boise, all who have been part of Josh becoming the incredible, wonderful, thoughtful and faithful man he has become.” It was an emotional experience for her, she said, to read the dozens of cards from people who they did not even know who were praying for his discernment. 

Speaking very briefly to the entire congre-gation after his ordination, Deacon Falce said, “Here but for the grace of God I stand.” He thanked the faithful for “accepting me as a servant of the Church and of this Diocese. I ask for one more gift, that you pray ardently for myself and the other seminarians and priests that we may serve you ever more faithfully.” 

 

Contribute to Our Mission

This online version of the Idaho Catholic Register is made possible by those who continue to subscribe to the ICR. If you read the paper online, please consider an annual donation of $20 to the Idaho Catholic Register either through your parish, by contacting the ICR at 208-350-7530, or Donate Here. When you donate through your parish, your parish gets a $3 credit for each subscription. Much of the work of the Diocese of Boise’s Communications Department – videos, social media posts, the online edition and the print edition of the ICR – is supported by your subscriptions to the Idaho Catholic Register. Thank you and God bless you! 

Our Mission

The mission of the Idaho Catholic Register, official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise, is to unify the far-flung Catholic Church of Idaho; inform Idaho Catholics about what is going on in the church locally, nationally and worldwide; educate Idaho Catholics about the teachings of the church and provide information that will help them make decisions in accordance with Gospel teachings; and inspire Idaho Catholics in their faith. 

Founded in 1958 by Bishop James J. Byrne, the ICR was part of the Register newspapers, a national chain headquartered in Denver, Colorado, it became an independent newspaper in 1973 and changed formats from a broadsheet to a tabloid in 1978. Today, with a circulation of more than 16,000, the ICR reaches Catholic homes in every corner of the state.

 

Bishop Peter F. Christensen, M.A., D.D
Publisher

 

Gene Fadness
Editor
                               Gfadness@rcdb.org                                208-350-7530  

Ann Bixby
Advertising/Production
                                   Abixby@rcdb.org                                       208-350-7532
   
                                          Vero Gutierrez                                            Staff Writer/Hispanic Content                                                    Vgutierrez@rcdb.org                                                   208-350-7531                                         Emily Woodham                                                                   Social Media/Staff Writer                                                               Ewoodham@rcdb.org                                                              

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