For its fourth consecutive year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s welcomes deacons and a seminarian as part of a ten-week summer program to minister to patients hospitalized at Mercy Health.
Andrew Ayers, Robert Mulderink and Michael Goodwin, all from the Grand Rapids Diocese, were ordained by Bishop David J. Walkowiak earlier in May to transitional deaconate, which is a major step toward ordination to the full priesthood. Participating alongside the deacons this summer is Jacob McDaniel, a seminarian from the diocese in Gary, Indiana.
As a significant part of their ongoing seminary formation, this ministry experience at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s will help prepare the deacons and the seminarian to become more effective pastoral ministers to the sick and dying as parish priests, as none has ever worked in a health care setting before.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about ministering and working with those who are hospitalized,” said Mulderink, whose home parish while growing up is St. Luke University Parish, in Allendale, Michigan. The other deacons and seminarians cited an increased comfort level working with those who are ill and suffering as a pivotal learning opportunity for them this summer.
This internship experience has proven to be a very positive experience for the participants, for the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s community, and for the Diocese’s seminary formation goals, according to Sister Myra Bergman, regional vice president of Mission Integration, Mercy Health.
Please welcome these four men to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, who will be on campus from May 21, through July 27, 2018.