Pekron ordained transitional deacon
Zane Pekron, Milesville, was ordained as a transitional deacon by Bishop Robert Gruss, Diocese of Rapid City, on May 24, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City
Pekron’s parents, Steven and Nina Pekron, are members of St. Mary Catholic Church, Milesville.
A transitional deacon is a seminarian, in his last year of formation at the seminary. He is ordained a priest approximately one year later.
The transitional diaconate is a step in the preparation for priesthood. Deacon Pekron is scheduled to complete his theology studies after one more year at St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. When the completion of the program of priestly formation is imminent, he may petition the bishop and eventually be called by the bishop to priestly ordination.
Father Ron Garry, Ft. Pierre, performed the vesting ceremony. Zane Pekron wore the white alb symbolizing his new ministry.
edited with permission
West River Catholic
The road to priesthood: ‘You are exactly where God wants you to be’
May 16, 2018 – Zane Pekron – age 25. Home parish – St. Mary, Milesville. Parents – Steve and Nina Pekron.
Education – minor seminary Immaculate Heart of Mary, Winona, Minn.; major seminary St. Paul School of Divinity, St. Paul, Minn. Pastoral learning: Duc in Altum, Institute for Priestly formation, worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation with Jesuits, and hospital ministry program through the seminary. Summer learning experience – St. Joseph, Spearfish; St. Paul, Belle Fourche
Hobbies – “I grew up on a cattle ranch so I like working with horses — roping and riding. I also enjoy playing different sports.”
On May 24, Zane Pekron (was) ordained a transitional deacon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City. He recently spoke to the West River Catholic about his experiences.
“The first time the priesthood was brought up to me was around my sophomore year in high school. Our parish priest at the time, Father Ron Garry, encouraged me to attend the Totus Tuus Boys Camp put on by the diocese.
“I remember being at camp and around the seminarians who kept saying, ‘You are not here by chance. You are where God wants you to be.’ That stuck with me, but I shelved it until I was a senior in high school. After camp, I noticed that the priesthood was something that came up, but I didn’t want to think about it a lot. In the time between camp and my senior year in high school, people mentioned in passing that I would make a really good priest. This kept the thought in the back of my mind. I started thinking about it more seriously the summer before my senior year in high school.
“Our new parish priest, Father Kevin Achbach, started visiting with me. My mom had brought up the priesthood too. That’s what got the ball rolling. They convinced me to go on a seminary visit in November. I went and had a good experience. So much so, I went back in March for the second visit of the academic year. I was debating either priesthood or taking over the family ranch – there were some challenges with that. It was towards the end of the senior year that I really felt the Lord working in my life. I wasn’t sure what I was going to study, but I thought I would go to seminary for a year, and see where the Lord would lead me. Each year I felt the Lord calling me back.
“Being in seminary in both Winona and St. Paul have been some of the best years of my life – coming to know the Lord and drawing closer to him, the lifelong friendships I have made – I wouldn’t do it differently. It was by far the best decision I could have made.
“(My prayer life is) consistent and slow growing. There have been some really high moments, but a lot of times there is a steady consistency of coming to greater knowledge and trust in the Lord and how he’s leading me and where he’s asking me to go.
“I’m really just excited to be drawing closer to becoming a priest. I want to live that life of service that the Lord is calling me to. I have a joy and excitement to be in that ministry of sharing the love of Christ and the Gospel with those that I meet.”