June 3, 2022

Meet our future deacons

Mike Nygra

Mike NygraName: Mike Nygra
Age: 56
Wife: Susan Nygra
Home Parish: St. Michael the Archangel in Indianapolis
Occupation: Claims consultant for The Hartford Insurance Group

Who are the important role models in your life of faith?

I received my faith from my deceased grandparents, Joe and Gene Nygra. Not only did they give good example by faithfully attending Mass each week, but they always spoke to me about the importance of our faith when I was growing up.

What are your favorite Scripture verses, saints, prayers and devotions?

My favorite Scripture verses are Joshua 24:15 and John 15:5. These passages help me to remember to always make our Lord and his divine will the first priorities in my life. My favorite saints, other than St. Joseph and Our Lady, are St. John the Baptist and St. Thomas More. My favorite prayer is the “Anima Christi.” It is a powerful way to live from the graces received in the holy Eucharist. I am also devoted to Our Lady of Fatima and her request for the practices of the Five First Saturdays. I begin each day with meditation on the mysteries of the rosary and allow Our Lady to lead me closer to her Son.

Deacons often minister, formally or informally, to others in the workplace. How have you experienced that already and what do you anticipate doing in the future?

To lead others to Christ, we have to live joyfully and strive to be servants. People are attracted to others who are clearly happy in life and who give their lives to others. I approach each workday with these two goals in mind and with each encounter I have as a professional. When people ask the source of my joy, I am never afraid to proclaim Jesus Christ and the importance of his one true Church to the fulfillment I find in this life.

Why do you feel that God is calling you to become a deacon?

Before I began my discernment, I was approached by several people who recommended that I consider becoming a deacon. At first, I shrugged these suggestions off. But as more and more of my acquaintances planted these seeds, I figured maybe the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something. So, I’m simply trying to do what I believe is our Lord’s divine will for my life. I have a deep desire to give my life in service, to my family, my Church, and whomever I am asked to serve as a deacon.

How will being ordained a deacon have an impact on your life and family?

Throughout the discernment and formation processes, I have had the complete support of my wife and children. Although the last four years have presented challenges, I can honestly say my life has been much fuller by the service I have been asked to engage in, especially as a minister to the homebound and as a teacher of the faith. With the time commitments that come with the diaconate, I have tried to be more attentive to my wife and children in the times we do have together. This will continue to be a primary focus following ordination.

How do you hope to serve through your life and ministry as a deacon?

Simply put, in whatever ways I am asked by my pastor Father John Kamwendo and Archbishop Charles C. Thompson. I commit to remaining open to the Lord’s divine will and simply take one day at a time. †

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