Deacon Ian Kelly, in his fourth year at Saint Mary Seminary, was ordained as a transitional deacon this past April as part of his journey to be ordained as a priest.
His path to the priesthood began at his home parish of St. Charles in Parma, where he recalls Sunday Masses, altar serving, retreats, and his dad working with the music ministry.
“I can remember as a child always being around my home parish. My dad was one of our music ministers, so it was a great blessing just to be in and around the parish a lot,” says Deacon Ian.
Through high school and his two years at the University of Dayton, Deacon Ian kept the faith. Still, it wasn’t until he met with Fr. Mike McCandless, the Diocese of Cleveland vocation director, that he decided to enter the seminary.
“I was hoping for this big sign that said ‘you are to go here,’” he says. “And in that day when I took it to prayer, the Lord was revealing to me all these little things that He had been showing me throughout the time, you know, all these little things that were pointing all together and so I said ‘yeah, let’s do it.’”
Deacon Ian then attended Borromeo in the fall of 2014 until his graduation in the spring of 2017. Later that year he began his studies at Saint Mary Seminary. Through his time at the seminary, Deacon Ian remarks on the value of the education as well as the community and relationships formed.
“The combination of both being able to learn and then being able to apply that in field education has been a great time, in terms of the seminary in an academic sense,” reflects Deacon Ian. “But also just the community of being with all the guys who, God-willing, I’ll be serving with in the ministry for the rest of my life.”
Following his ordination to the priesthood next year, Deacon Ian hopes to foster a strong Catholic community that follows Jesus and His teachings, is outreaching and evangelizing.
“So just really having a place that is very visibly Catholic, that is visibly a place of faith and is visibly a place where people truly have a relationship with Jesus,” he says referring to his future. “And just being able to be the person who helps foster that.”