Deacon Fimian Finds Path to 'True Fatherhood'

Deacon Kevin Fimian's infectious smile, dirty blond hair and quick wit immediately call to mind the former jock that he is. But underneath the 43-year-old's playful, engaging exterior is something deeper and something sacred: a strong faith and a life joyously devoted to God.
On June 10 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, Fimian, along with six other deacons, will enter what he called the "true fatherhood" and be ordained a priest.
"I'm psyched," said Fimian, settling into a conference room chair, but never really relaxing, maybe out of pure excitement. "It's very humbling when you come to realize God's plan for salvation. I'm going to be a father, and that is the most awesome thing."
Fimian said his Catholic faith has been the one constant in his life. This faith is family-based, he said, developed through his mother and father's insistence on their seven children praying the rosary together nightly. His father, a naval officer, and his mother, a stay-at-home mom, made the faith "central" in their happy household.
Fimian spoke earnestly, with a passion for Christ and a strong desire to do God's will. In the same way that Division I sports, fraternities and a high-salary job consumed him first while he was in college and then while working for a home inspection service, Fimian is now consumed by God.
"I've been chosen by God to this mysterious, this awesome reality that we can never understand," he said, "making God present, body, blood, soul and divinity, for the life of the world."
While attending St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., Fimian spent his summers at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, St. Matthew Church in Spotsylvania and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge. He served his diaconate year at the cathedral.
Fimian referred to the parishioners he encountered as "an extension of my family" and was overwhelmed by the generous nature and the love with which the communities received him. He said he was especially grateful for the warm reception given to him by the cathedral parishioners, and credits his successful year to the prayers and sacrifices of those "good people.
"Right from the get-go they loved and I loved them," he said.
Fimian has attended daily Mass on a regular basis since seventh grade.
"For the most part that was one constant," he said. "I saw its effect in my own life. The grace that comes from the sacrament is altering."
Later in life, Fimian began spending 15 minutes a day in "a conversation with our Lord" through adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
These regular conversations - what he calls "the central part of my vocation" - introduced him to the idea of the priesthood, both spiritually through prayer and physically through a former seminarian who also regularly attended adoration at the same chapel. This man introduced Fimian to other men preparing for the priesthood and gave him a glimpse of seminary life.
As Fimian deepened his relationship with God in front of the Blessed Sacrament, his call to the priesthood also deepened.
"When I sat down, I discovered that our Lord was calling me to another kind of life," he said.
He found that life, and embraced it wholeheartedly.
God "called me and I'm being ordained a priest despite my faults," Fimian said. "If you give yourself to God and follow where He is leading, trusting in Him, you will never regret it." Gretchen R. Crowe can be reached at gcrowe@catholicherald.com.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2006