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Lived faith in the family guides Perth boy towards priesthood

By Jamie O’Brien

We should be in awe of the overwhelming power of God’s grace, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has proclaimed, as he ordained Nicholas Diedler to the Diaconate last Saturday 12 March.

Perth born 27-year-old Nicholas has trained at St Charles Seminary and will spend the next 12 months as a Deacon before being ordained to the Priesthood.

Joining Archbishop Costelloe for the celebration, which took place outside on the grounds of St John Paul II Primary, Banksia Grove, due to COVID restrictions, were Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Phillip Fleay, Banksia Grove Parish Priest Fr Vinh Dong, Fr Michael Quynh Do as MC, Deacon Grzegorz Rapcewicz assisting and together with several other clergy from across Perth.

Growing up in Kingsley with parents and siblings, and attending the Cathedral Parish, Nicholas says his vocation towards the priesthood has stemmed from having a lived faith experience transmitted through his family.

“I give thanks to my parents and their efforts to live the faith at home,” Nicholas said.

“Starting from being an altar boy, I grew to love serving God in the liturgy which has progressed to me starting this journey at the age of 19 with an openness to discern whether it was from me or a genuine vocation,” he explained.

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Perth born 27-year-old Nicholas Diedler trained at St Charles Seminary and will spend the next 12 months as a Deacon before being ordained to the Priesthood. Photo: Joshua Low.

Following his completion of highschool in 2012, Nicholas worked from a year to start an electrical trade, in addition to undertaking some hobby woodwork. He joined St Charles Seminary in 2014.

Now as a transitional Deacon, Nicholas says he is looking forward to meeting people personally in their day-to-day life.

“To encourage them where I can, listen to their experiences and speak to them, with humility, about the good news of the Gospel in a personal way that is relatable.

In his homily for the Ordination, Archbishop Costelloe highlighted that it is within this sacramental Church – the Lord’s Church – that Nicholas receives the sacrament of ordination as a deacon. 

“The Sacrament of Orders, which itself has three concrete expressions in the life of the Church – deacons, priests and bishops – shares in the sacramental identity of the whole Church as the great sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity among all people. 

“And for this very reason it is important to say immediately that ordination as a deacon does not set a man apart from the community of disciples.

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Archbishop Timothy Costelloe places his hands on Nicholas Diedler, who was ordained to the Diaconate, Saturday 12 March at Banksia Grove Parish. Photo: Joshua Low.

“On the contrary, it inserts the man much more deeply into the community of disciples because it bestows on the man the grace, and the responsibility, of making his whole life, in every dimension, a total gift to God for the sake of God’s people. 

“He is, in a sense, a living sacrament in the Holy People of God which is also a living sacrament.

Archbishop Costelloe continued by saying that it is not easy to commit oneself publicly, totally and unreservedly to God in this way and we should be in awe of the courage Nicholas is showing in offering himself to the Lord and his people. 

“But even more, I believe, we should be in awe of the overwhelming power of God’s grace, for it is this which has enabled Nicolas to say “yes” to the Lord’s invitation and it will be this which will enable Nicholas, if he remains open to God’s grace, to be faithful to the commitments which he makes tonight.”

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Jochen and Maria-Luise Diedler, parents of newly ordained Deacon Nicholas, carry his vestments up the aisle at the commencement of his Ordination, Saturday 12 March, at Banksia Grove Parish. Photo: Joshua Low.