Don Bedore ordained deacon
By DAVID MYERS
Southwest Kansas Register
Editor's Note: The article in the print version of the Southwest Kansas Register read that “the candidate will take vows of celibacy and obedience to the bishop.” That is not correct. Diocesan deacons/priests do not make or take vows. Rather, the ordination rite for a deacon includes a “commitment to celibacy” and a “promise of obedience.” Profession of vows is what religious brothers, sisters and priests do within their religious institute. The SKR strives for accuracy and apologizes for the error.
Following the reception after his Rite of Ordination of a Deacon May 29 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Rev. Mr. Don Bedore stood surrounded by family; When requested by a family member, he gladly offered them a blessing “…in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit….”
Then, breaking out in a wide grin, he said, “That was so cool!”
The simple event lends insight into the future priest -- quick to smile, eager to laugh, ever thankful that God has led him to this place and to this time.
The Rite of Ordination of a Deacon is a significant step along the road to the priesthood, during which the candidate makes a commitment to celibacy and a promise of obedience. Bedore, who will be ordained to the priesthood in 2011, will now be able to serve as a deacon at Mass and other celebrations.
But for the Jetmore resident, the celebration also represents years of seeking God’s call. Born in Stockton, Kan. to the late Lawrence and Joyce Bedore, he earned a degree in Music Education from Wichita State University and served as band director at Jetmore High School before becoming a meat cutter at the Jetmore Food Center for 15 years.
He entered Mt. Saint Mary Seminary in Emmistburg, MD in 2005.
“I’ve had a certain sense that God had something special for me for the last eight or 10 years,” Bedore said. “I actually heard the call to the priesthood in the fall of 2003. It took over a year for me to get used to the idea. … When I found out what [God’s] will was, there wasn’t much to do but follow.”
The ceremony is painted with symbolism, from the Laying on of Hands by Bishop Gilmore, to the Handing on of the Book of Gospels, to Bedore laying prostrate before the bishop, to his vesting by deacons of the diocese. And the celebration is, in effect, an official consent, acceptance and welcome by the people of the Diocese of Dodge City, marked during the service by their applause.
The very first deacons, Bishop Gilmore said in his homily, were to be men who were “deeply spiritual,” and “blessed with a bedrock common sense” and were of “sound judgment.”
They were to be both ministers of service, and ministers of the Word.
“Live the grace of the office, Don,” the bishop said. “Live the grace of your calling. Live your life as grace, that mysterious energy from the Lord that comes from on high. Do nothing without lifting up your eyes to grace. …
“Be always ready, Don, for the slightest indication of need. Respond quickly, to establish justice and harmony and unity and peace. …. Be always ready, Don, for the slightest indication of openness, just the slightest hint. … Develop a sixth and a secret sense to detect any openness to the word of God. Respond quickly….
“Be always ready Don, to be forgetful of self. You will be so if you can say … ‘Behold, I see the opening in the sky and the Son of Man standing at God’s right hand.’ Keeps your eyes fixed there, on Him. Let that be your mantle; let that be your message.”
During the reception that followed, Bedore told all those gathered, “I would like to thank everyone who helped make this day a tremendously memorable one for me. This is something that I will treasure always.
“God has blessed me so much these past few years and has led me to this. It’s just something very special when you put yourself in the hands of God. It far surpasses anything you can do on your own. I’ve had experiences and have gone places and met people and done things I didn’t know I could do. I have been stretched and am still being stretched and it’s wonderful. I’m so happy that you’re here to be a part of it and share this day with me.”