Deacon Jason Lewis, MIC, ready for priesthood

Watch the Ordination Mass LIVE here.

"It is a witness to the fidelity of God and His promises, to His impeccable, providential designs. I have the very strong sense that I am stepping fully into my true identity and purpose of my being with my upcoming ordination."

By Dr. Joe McAleer

On Saturday, August 12, Deacon Jason Matthew Lewis, MIC, will be ordained to the priesthood for the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The 9:00 a.m. Mass, livestreamed here, will be celebrated by the Most Rev. William Byrne, Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts. Regrettably, all of the seats in the Shrine are full!

This is the second priesthood ordination for the Marian Fathers this summer. Father Timothy Childers, MIC, was ordained on July 8. Deacon Jason (shown above) served at the Ordination Mass and proclaimed the Gospel.

In persona Christi 
“It is really an overwhelming, almost incomprehensible thought: becoming a priest who acts in persona Christi, the person of Christ,” Deacon Jason says. “During my retreat in preparation for priesthood, I meditated upon and recited the Eucharistic Prayer that I will pray at my first Mass, I was overcome, to the point of tears, with awe, humility, joy, gratitude, and love for the Father. I will be offering the Lamb of God to God the Father on behalf of His beloved children. That thought is utterly astonishing to me. What greater act could I ever possibly do on planet Earth? Not to mention, to forgive the sins of men as an ambassador of Christ?”

Since his ordination to the transitional diaconate last year, Deacon Jason has been serving at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, one of the largest parishes in Washington, D.C. "I have participated in approximately 100 baptisms, three marriages, five funerals, and preached on no less than 75 occasions," he reports, ministering in both English and Spanish. He also worked on the "Encounter DC" leadership team and presented on numerous topics related to Life in the Holy Spirit. 

Divine Mercy
Born to Joyce and Larry Lewis in Steubenville, Ohio, Deacon Jason, 52, was drawn to the Marian Fathers when he went to confession years ago with Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC, and afterwards was handed a copy of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. 

“That was it,” he admitted. “The devotion to Divine Mercy attracted me, and grew in me. The Lord gave me an image of my secular life as a small puddle, but the religious life as a wide-open ocean filled with promise.”

True identity
Deacon Jason admits that his vocational journey has been long and circuitous, but, he says, “it is a witness to the fidelity of God and His promises, to His impeccable, providential designs. I have the very strong sense that I am stepping fully into my true identity and purpose of my being with my upcoming ordination. I could not be any happier, grateful, humbled, and full than I am now in palpable anticipation.”

Four years ago, Deacon Jason co-authored the bestselling Marian Press book After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You with the Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC. “We had no idea when writing it that it would be so successful, and resonate with so many, offering hope to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one, whether by suicide or another cause,” he said. 

“Papa Mark”
Deacon Jason is especially mindful of the fact that it is 16 years since the passing of Fr. Mark Garrow, MIC, former superior general of the Marian Fathers. 

“He was ‘Papa Mark,’ my spiritual mentor and friend,” he said. “I was privileged to serve as his primary caregiver during his valiant struggle with cancer. He offered his sufferings for his seminarians and for an increase in vocations to our Province. I will carry with me always his example of courage and serenity.”

Father Jason will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 9:00 a.m. at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, livestreamed hereFather Mark Garrow's chalice will be used. "It will be the first time it will be raised to the Father in 16 years," Deacon Jason notes.

Please pray for all of our Marian priests!


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