During my time as a Deacon I enjoyed several opportunities to serve Papal liturgies under both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as a singing deacon. Shortly after ordination I was recommended to the Pontifical Music Chapel (la Cappella Sistina) and received assignments for Christmas 2012, Epiphany 2013, and Easter 2013.

Click for PhotosChristmas 2012
Midnight Mass
Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican Basilica

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Epiphany 2013
Archepiscopal Ordinations
Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican Basilica

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Easter 2013
Mass of Easter Day
Pope Francis
St. Peter's Square

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Photos from Fotografia Felici.

On March 31, Easter Sunday, I proclaimed the Paschal Kerygma to Pope Francis at his Mass in St. Peter's Square. After proclaiming a similar message to the thousands gathered in the Square and beyond, I turned toward the Pope and chanted, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon." At least a thousand years old, this ritual of the papal liturgies was restored in 2000 under Pope Blessed John Paul II after its disappearance since the papal sojourn in Avignon and has been used ever since in the Paschal Masses of Pope Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis.

It has been an honor for me to be able to serve as deacon for papal liturgies in two pontificates. Although they are different people, both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are clearly men of prayer and faith, and being able to serve their Masses as a deacon has given me a clear perspective of this truth. This in turn is a reminder that the Church, though made up of individuals, is the the same Body of Christ yesterday, today, and forever. As I make my final preparation for priestly ordination, now fewer than 90 days away, I am inspired by the example of these popes just as I have been by other priests I have known, as well as by the holy men and women that form the richness of the Church throughout history.
background image: Mandatum from the Hartker antiphoner of St. Gall