Two Men to be
Ordained May 26
LINCOLN (SNR) - Two 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 26, 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.
Born in Omaha and
raised in Hastings, Deacon Thomas Schultes is the oldest son of
Marvin and Delores Schultes. He attended parochial school with
his younger sister and brother, graduating from St. Cecilia High
School in 1992.
As a child, priests
were always around him. Deacon Schultes’ uncle, Archbishop
Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, was a priest of the
Diocese of Sioux City (Iowa). Many Lincoln Diocese priests were
his teachers, including Msgr. Jack McCabe, who died in 1999.
Still, Deacon Schultes
never felt a particular calling. After high school, he received
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A few years later, he
was dissatisfied with his job and social life. Almost
flippantly, he suggested to a coworker that he might leave
everything behind to become a priest.
His friend answered, "I
could see that."
Deacon Schultes made a
brief attempt to contact Father Robert Matya, vocations
director, but soon found a new job with the McCabe family,
started dating a new girl and ramped up his social calendar. It
was everything he wanted.
Four years later, he
opened the Southern Nebraska Register to see what the new
priests assignments were.
"The Holy Spirit
hammered me," Deacon Schultes recalled. "I couldn’t shake
thoughts of the priesthood – they were overwhelming."
After that, he seemed
to see a priest everywhere he went. He contacted his uncle, who
was then Bishop of Duluth (Minnesota) to discuss his conflicting
In one last attempt to
shake the idea of a priestly vocation, he went on vacation –
only to see Bishop Bruskewitz aboard the same plane.
consultation with Father Matya and Father John Sullivan, Deacon
Schultes entered the seminary.
"I continued to grow in
my relationship with the Lord, and He provided many events that
left me with zero doubts," Deacon Schultes said.
Now after years in
seminary formation – the last four at St. Charles Borromeo
Seminary in Philadelphia – Deacon Schultes is eager to return to
his beloved family and friends and start new relationships as he
serves a parish.
He is filled with
gratitude for the people of the Lincoln Diocese. And he knows he
had some supernatural help, too.
that Msgr. McCabe is someone guiding my life from Heaven," he
Deacon Schultes will
celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving at North American
Martyrs Parish in Lincoln Sunday, May 27. He’ll celebrate a
second Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings
Sunday, June 3.
Deacon Michael Zimmer
Growing up in Firth,
Deacon Michael Zimmer attended St. James Parish in Cortland with
his parents Ron and Cinda, now members of St. Teresa Parish in
Lincoln. He has three sisters and two brothers, including Father
Matthew Zimmer of North American Martyrs Parish in Lincoln.
"My parents were always
encouraging us to pray about what our vocation in life would
be," Deacon Zimmer said.
He’d given the
priesthood some consideration in high school, but it seemed that
he was destined for the usual job, marriage and parenthood.
So, immediately after
high school, Deacon Zimmer went to Northwest Missouri State to
study business administration and management. There, he started
to realize his priestly vocation.
With his older brother
already a seminarian, Deacon Zimmer knew that his next step
would be to seek out advice from a priest about how to discern
"I spoke with Msgr.
(John) Perkinton, my spiritual director back home about it, and
he agreed that I should go to the seminary," Deacon Zimmer said.
He enrolled in St.
Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, where he found a great
deal of support in his journey toward clear discernment.
"It has been a
great blessing to have had the formators in my seminary
experience who were
patient with me throughout the process," he said.
At one point, he took
some time off in his studies, but his support team stayed with
"There were some who
even kept contact with me in my short time away from the
seminary," he said.
Now that his ordination
is only days away, Deacon Zimmer is looking forward to
administering the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession to
the people of the diocese who have been so helpful to him.
"I truly am blessed to
be a part of this diocese and am so thankful for the support
that has been given to me throughout my seminary career," he
said. "Seminary is difficult, and it would not be possible
without the prayers and support of all the lay faithful
throughout the diocese."
Deacon Zimmer looks
upon his priestly vocation as an opportunity to share "a renewed
sense of zeal and awe within the Mass."
He continued, "I hope
to be able to inspire a great faith and devotion in the
Eucharist and continue the work that so many priests before me
Deacon Zimmer will celebrate his Mass of
Thanksgiving at St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln Sunday, May 27.