After months characterized by worldwide uncertainty and sudden change, Michael Ammer is incredibly excited for his next big shift: his ordination to the diaconate. He affirmed that he has “been looking forward to this for about five years” after a gradual, patient journey to hearing God’s call in his life.
Hailing from New Haven and a supportive Catholic family, Ammer originally wanted to teach physics, he said. But in high school, he began to appreciate “the reality of diving deeper, figuring things out, understanding how things work” and the critical thinking abilities that accompanied this science. His drive to learn was not only applicable to his degree, but to his life as a disciple of Christ.
Ammer’s education at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne introduced him to friends of varying faith traditions and denominations. When he saw a need to articulate his own faith, he dove into learning it seriously and deeply. The idea of a priestly vocation quietly surfaced; he recalls it following him as he pondered his path after graduation.
Ultimately, Ammer decided against teaching physics with his new degree and began to wrestle with a subsequent aimlessness. He said he considered pursuing engineering but did not find peace in the decision. At the conclusion of the summer after graduation, “everything opened up. I had no school, no job, no girlfriend, no nothing. That’s when God really hit me over the head and said, this is the time to really consider the priesthood.”
Ammer briefly taught mathematics at Northrop High School, Fort Wayne, while his decision to answer to the call became clear. He wanted to further discern the priesthood and, seeing the present moment as the most acceptable time, dedicated himself to daily prayer and adoration.
Six months later, Ammer’s outlook on his vocation had transformed. “God showed me where I needed to go and changed my heart to wanting the priesthood. I was willingly and happily applying to the seminary.”
Reflecting on his journey toward ordination to the diaconate, he clearly pointed to God’s hand leading him step by step. Ammer looks forward to the new opportunities that will accompany his being a deacon, including preaching and administering the sacrament of baptism in his parish assignment.
Even within the ministerial context amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, Ammer is hopeful he will be able to use his critical thinking and patience to continue evangelizing and meeting the needs of the faithful.
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