Deacon to assist at Pope’s Christmas Midnight Mass

December 20, 2013

Diocese of Rochester seminarian Peter Van Lieshout, who was ordained a transitional deacon in October, will be  assisting Pope Francis at the televised Christmas “Midnight Mass” in St. Peter’s Basilica. Van Lieshout will be chanting the Gospel and serving as one of the deacons.

Van Lieshout, a native of Livonia whose home parish is St. Matthew’s, served his Pastoral Year at Our Lady of Peace Parish and is completing his theological studies in Rome.

“It really is a special privilege to serve at the Midnight Mass,” he said in an e-mail. “I’m grateful for the honor.”

He is to be ordained a Diocese of Rochester priest in June 2014, along with Deacon Sergio Chavez.

“What I look forward to most is simply living out the priestly vocation with zeal by teaching the faith in its full beauty, giving the sacraments with reverence and love, and laying down my life for the people of our Diocese,” Van Lieshout told the Catholic Courier in an October interview. “May God give me the grace to do this well and with perseverance.”

The Mass is widely televised. Check local listings.