Preaching is one skill new deacon hopes to hone

By Jeff Kurowski | The Compass | May 23, 2016

‘I look forward to seeing how my style of preaching develops,’ says Bradley

ALLOUEZ — Deacon Adam Bradley, who was ordained to the diaconate on May 22 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, looks forward to preaching opportunities as a deacon. He embraces any challenges that he may encounter as a homilist.

Bishop David Ricken lays his hands on Adam Bradley's head during his ordination to the diaconate May 22 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)
Bishop David Ricken lays his hands on Adam Bradley’s head during his ordination to the diaconate May 22 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

“In seminary, we spend a lot of time working on this ministry; however, there is a difference between preaching to a class of peers and preaching to a church full of people,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how much work it will take to prepare a good homily. I look forward to seeing how my style of preaching develops throughout my life.”

Deacon Bradley’s first Mass as a deacon will be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at St. John the Evangelist Church in Antigo, his home parish. He was born in Appleton, and his family moved Antigo when he was an infant. He is the second of five children of Tom and Laurel Bradley. His father is a funeral director (Bradley Funeral Home and Crematory) and his mother is a homemaker and author. Older brother Benjamin is an aerospace engineer in Maryland. Another brother, Jacob, is married (Jamie) with one child (Elizabeth) and is pursuing a doctorate in behavioral analysis. His sister, Emily Peloquin, lives in Germany with her husband, Josh, who is in the Air Force. They have a daughter, Lilian. Youngest brother Daniel is a student at UW-La Crosse.

Following graduation from Antigo High School in 2007, Deacon Bradley attended UW-Parkside in Kenosha for two years. He then transferred to UW-Oshkosh where he was introduced to the Newman Center. Through prayer and discernment, he decided to enter seminary. Deacon Bradley attended Conception Seminary College in Missouri for two-and-a-half years. He currently attends St. Francis de Sales Seminary in St. Francis, a suburb of Milwaukee.

This summer, Deacon Bradley will serve at St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Oshkosh. His previous parish experience includes three years assisting at St. Joseph Parish in Wauwatosa, while at seminary.

“This past year, I was able to help teach religious education to high school students,” he said. “This was a great opportunity to take what I learn in seminary and apply it to helping other learn about the Catholic faith.”

Other ministry experiences for Deacon Bradley involved serving people during trying times in their lives. In the fall of 2014, he helped at Franciscan Peacemakers, a group in the greater Milwaukee area that ministers to women who engage in drug use and prostitution. Last summer, he participated in a Clinical Pastoral Education program, serving as a hospital chaplain in Rockford, Ill.

“Ministry as a chaplain provided many opportunities for me to be with others in difficult times and to pray with them and offer them support,” said Deacon Bradley.

He expected ordination day to be one of gratitude “for all of the people who have supported me and help me along the way and to God for giving me the grace to answer his call to follow him.”

Family, classmates, priests from the formation faculty at St. Francis de sales, members from St. John the Evangelist Parish and St. Joseph Parish were all there in support. Deacon Bradley was vested by Fr. Tom Farrell, pastor at St. Pius X Parish in Appleton.

“(Fr. Farrell) has an unrivaled dedication to God and to the people he serves with the love of the heart of Jesus,” said Deacon Bradley. “He is one of the priests who has shown me the love of God the Father. I am forever thankful to God for the gift that Fr. Tom Farrell is to the church and honored that he will do me the great honor of vesting me.”

In an interview prior to ordination, Deacon Bradley that he wouldn’t be able put the profoundness of the day into words.

“I don’t think that I will be able to describe everything that will be going on within my heart the day of ordination,” he said, “but I trust ordination will be a step closer to the heart of Jesus.”


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