A pause, then a move forward

First slide

Deacon Brian McAllister's journey to his upcoming ordination was circuitous, with service in the U.S. Army, and several starts at the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Last year, before his scheduled ordination to the priesthood, he decided to take another year of discernment. After prayer and service at Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville, he looks forward to his ordination.

"I am very confident that this is what (God) wants for me," said Deacon McAllister.

"I'm looking forward to

being assigned as a priest."

Deacon McAllister was born July 13, 1979. He grew up in Richmond and was raised Lutheran. His family moved to Indianapolis when he was in high school.

Deacon McAllister attended Park Tudor School in Indianapolis and graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a degree in English literature. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Ga., was commissioned as a second lieutenant and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His mother, Delane, converted to Catholicism when he was in high school, and Deacon McAllister became curious about the faith. An Army chaplain had stirred more interest.

He said he wanted to take his time in conversion, to intellectually approve of Catholic dogma. He started RCIA classes - twice. The third time was the charm, and he made his first confession at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Amherst.

"I took confession very seriously," he said.

Hearing his confession, and seeing how enthusiastic McAllister was, the priest asked him, "Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic priest?"

The thought of the priesthood stayed with him, and with encouragement from a spiritual director and his family, he entered Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., two years after his reception into the faith at age 28.

His discernment at Mount St. Mary's strengthened his desire to be a priest. Deacon McAllister said that the process gave him "sufficient certitude and sufficient clarity to know that this is what I want."

Deacon McAllister said he loves his ministry at Holy Trinity Church. It's the young families and vibrancy that he enjoys.

Ironically, he also likes teaching RCIA classes at Holy Trinity. He said he's had a lot of practice.

Borowski can be reached at dborowski@catholicherald.com or on Twitter @DBorowskiACH.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015