Story by S.L. Hansen
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
Still, he said, "I talked with God
about the possibility of being a priest. Then I listened as best
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
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
"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
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."