Deacon Corey D. Bruns assists Bishop William F. Medley during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021. LAURA RIGSBY | WKC
‘It’s a beautiful vocation and a beautiful life’ says seminarian anticipating ordination
BY ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD, THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
Deacon Corey D. Bruns, a seminarian of the Diocese of Owensboro, will be ordained a priest on May 22, 2021, at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro.
Deacon Bruns, who grew up at St. Ann Parish in Morganfield, said he is excited about his first assignment, which will be serving as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish and School in Bowling Green.
He looks forward to “letting people know they’re loved by God – that amid wounds, brokenness, and the craziness of life, (that) he loves them.”
“I am not becoming a priest for myself but for the people,” he said.
Deacon Bruns said that he has been blessed by the community at St. Meinrad – including his core group of friends, with whom he looks forward to continuing strong friendships as they all go forth into their own dioceses as new priests.
He is thankful for the priests in the Diocese of Owensboro that he has already come to know as “brothers.”
“They have started welcoming me early,” he said.
Deacon Bruns is also grateful for the support of the laity over his nine years of formation, which includes cards and letters sent to him in the seminary.
“Their support has meant a lot and means a lot to the other guys too,” he said, encouraging people to write to seminarians in order to encourage them as they discern their vocations.
He looks forward serving as “God’s instrument” by celebrating Mass and hearing confessions: “Being able to share the mercy of God – which I’ve received over the years – with others.”
Deacon Bruns credits Our Lady for her intercession and care throughout his journey to the priesthood, adding that “Mary has seen me through and she always looks out for her priests.”
He said he looks forward to visiting classrooms and celebrating Mass for the students of St. Joseph School, and has been practicing his Spanish so that he can better serve the Hispanic community at the parish.
“St. Joseph is the parish that made me want to learn Spanish,” said Deacon Bruns, explaining that he spent several summers at St. Joseph while working at Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp and Retreat Center. (He hopes to assist at Gasper when needed, since it will be right up the road.)
Deacon Bruns said he cannot wait to “celebrate the liturgy with reverence and inspire people with the mystery of beauty” and to “be with people in the different aspects of life. In one day (as a priest) you can go from a birth to a death – the complete breadth of human emotion.”
“There are not many jobs or vocations where people trust you enough to be with them in their best moments and worst moments,” he said. “You might not know the person well, but you represent the community and the whole Church” to them.
He also offered a word of advice to young men and the parents of young men who are considering the priesthood: “Don’t be afraid to say yes. It’s a beautiful vocation and a beautiful life.”
Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ordination Mass will be an invitation-only event, but the celebration will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/StStephenCathedral.
Originally printed in the May 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.