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Deacon Michael Holmquist to be ordained a priest June 24

06/16/2017 | Comments

Dcn Holmquist with Fr. Stewart

COLORADO SPRINGS. Deacon Michael Holmquist will be ordained a priest by Bishop Michael Sheridan on June 24 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Deacon Holmquist is a native of northern Colorado who was raised in the Lutheran church. After moving to Colorado Springs in 2006, he met several diocesan priests, including Father Gus Stewart at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish and Father Jim Williams, then serving as vocations director.

He entered the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) program at St. Gabriel in fall of 2006, and right away he stood out among the candidates, said Father Stewart, who is currently pastor of Ave Maria Parish in Parker.

“One of the first things that struck me was his youth — the fact that he was living on his own and working in politics (as a young adult),” he said.

Deacon Holmquist also showed that he was someone who was strongly committed to upholding the sanctity of life, Father Stewart recalled.

“It was really his pro-life stance that was drawing him into the Catholic Church,” he said.

Deacon Holmquist was received into the Church in April 2007, and in 2009 he began his seminary studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed his seminary education at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

As a Theology IV student this past academic year, he particularly enjoyed a class on the Theology of the Trinity, he said.

“Heading into ordination, what strikes me is the reality of it all. What we are doing is real, each day in our prayers, in holy Mass, confession, all of it is real,” Deacon Holmquist said. “God is present in a very real way, in a very personal way. God calls each of us and settles for nothing less than our entire being. This is what strikes me coming from a Protestant background. It’s not mere knowledge or facts, but an encounter.”

Deacon Holmquist said that he also enjoyed teaching first-grade religious education classes at Santa Susanna Parish in Rome, a parish made up of American Catholics.

“It is a privileged placed to be. They were very chatty and not afraid to ask questions,” he said.

Throughout his time in the seminary, he has developed friendships with seminarians from other states and countries, which he said he hopes to maintain after ordination, Deacon Holmquist said.

At the ordination Mass, Deacon Holmquist will be vested by Father Stewart, who will also  give the newly-ordained priest the chalice that he himself received for his ordination.

“Having brought him into the Church, I consider him a spiritual son,” Father Stewart said. “It’s a gift from a father to a son.”

Father Stewart said that one of the qualities Deacon Holmquist brings to the priesthood is a universal outlook.

“He has a great love for the Church universal; he doesn’t just see things from an American perspective,” Father Stewart said. “It’s very refreshing.”

Deacon Holmquist will celebrate his first Mass on June 25 at 11:30 a.m. at Ave Maria.

Despite the memorable experiences he has had in Rome, Deacon Holmquist said he is eagerly anticipating his return to Colorado.

“I’m looking forward to being back in Colorado Springs and getting settled,” he said. 

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