By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published November 3, 2016
ATLANTA—An Atlanta seminarian made his promises of celibacy and obedience when he was ordained a transitional deacon in the basilica built upon the tomb of St. Peter.
Rev. Mr. Bryan Kuhr was the third man in 2016 to become a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston celebrated the Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica Sept. 29.
The other deacons—Rev. Mr. Brian McNavish and Rev. Mr. Bradley Starr—were ordained in June in Atlanta.
Rev. Mr. Kuhr was part of a class of 30 men studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, ordained as transitional deacons. He wrote by email about this significant moment.
During the ordination, the new deacon said he thought about St. Peter and how he served Christ and the church relying on “God’s grace, and so it is also with me.”
“I felt immense gratitude for God’s goodness to me and how in thanksgiving I was going to lay down my life for him and the church,” he said.
A former corporate finance worker in the auto industry, Rev. Mr. Kuhr, 35, is one of three children. His parents, Joe and Peggy Kuhr, who live in Alpharetta, attended the ordination. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2003 and entered seminary in 2011.
He will spend this year as a deacon continuing his studies in Rome, in addition to learning his diaconate ministry.
Most of the ministry is preaching at religious houses and for college students in Rome, as well as in his seminary community, he said. He serves with others at St. Lawrence Food Pantry Apostolate, reaching out to the poor in Rome.
“Even greater than the material poverty is the spiritual poverty that exists. Hopefully our encounters can help those suffering see their dignity as a beloved child of God. Pope Francis certainly is a great witness to this and God’s mercy,” he said.
He did have the opportunity shortly after ordination to witness a wedding ceremony, which was unusual, he said.
Rev. Mr. Kuhr said he finds support for his vocation in Scripture, especially as St. Paul writes to the church of Corinth about weakness and what Jesus can do with humble people.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” wrote St. Paul.
The new deacon wrote, “Because I’m weak, others are able to see more clearly God’s power manifested through me. In order to be a minister of the Lord, God willed that we be clothed in weakness so that we may have compassion on others.”
“I look forward to coming back to serve in the archdiocese as a priest, God willing. Please continue to pray for me!”