May 30, 2014

2014 ordinations: Ready to serve God’s people

Time, prayer, positive examples guide deacon to priesthood

In this April 6, 2013, photo, transitional Deacon David Marcotte is vested by his brother, Doug—also a transitional deacon at the time—during a diaconate ordination in the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln in St. Meinrad. Deacons Marcotte and Bedel will be ordained priests on June 7 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology)

In this April 6, 2013, photo, transitional Deacon David Marcotte is vested by his brother, Doug—also a transitional deacon at the time—during a diaconate ordination in the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln in St. Meinrad. Deacons Marcotte and Bedel will be ordained priests on June 7 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology)

By Natalie Hoefer

When Deacon David Marcotte was growing up, he never really considered becoming a priest.

The decision of his older brother, Doug—now Father Doug—to enter the seminary after graduating from college did nothing to change his mind.

“My natural inclination was, because my older brother did it, I would not,” the transitional deacon admitted. “I didn’t want to be compared.”

But time, prayer and positive examples intervened.

On June 7 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, Deacon Marcotte will be ordained a priest to serve the Church in central and southern Indiana.

‘It’s how I want to live my life’

Deacon Marcotte was a freshman at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington when his brother announced his decision to enter the seminary.

Shortly after that, the education-turned-history-major student started receiving questions from people—what did he want to do with his life? Had he ever considered the priesthood?

“It was a question that was asked enough that it gave me cause to think about it,” he said.

Deacon Marcotte said his decision to enter the seminary “was more of a gradual thing. There was never an epiphany, no moment when it all came together and hit me.

“I became more active and intentional about my faith. I started to get more involved. The more I started to pray, the more I thought I might like to do something with my Church.

“I came to decide [my faith] is something that’s the center of my life,” he said. “It’s something I know is of the utmost importance day in and day out. It’s how I want to live my life.”

Deacon Marcotte transferred from IU to Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary and Marian University, both in Indianapolis, and graduated in 2010. From there, he enrolled at Saint Meinrad School of Theology and Seminary in St. Meinrad.

His example ‘rubbed off on me’

Prayer and an active faith life were not the only contributors to Deacon Marcotte’s decision to enter the seminary.

He credits Benedictine Father Severin Messick, his pastor at St. Michael Parish in Greenfield, with setting a good example.

“He was just a very happy person in everything he did,” said Deacon Marcotte of the priest, who died in 2012. “You could see he had a lot of joy in being a priest—how much he loved the Church, what he said, his homilies, talking to him. He loved everything about what he was doing. It radiated from him. It rubbed off on me.”

And Father Marcotte, whose footsteps Deacon Marcotte did not want to follow lest the brothers be compared, proved to be a positive influence for the deacon as well.

“His openness set a good example for me,” said Deacon Marcotte of his brother, who was ordained a priest last year. “He’s been an example throughout my time [in the seminary].

“We’ve definitely become closer. Through college and the seminary, we were close. We were good friends and able to talk about things. We both understood where each other was at. He’s someone to turn to who can really understand and be there for me.”

‘All about bringing Christ to people’

As Deacon Marcotte’s ordination approaches, he contemplated the impact he hopes to make as a priest.

“What I hope is that people can say, ‘He was able to bring me closer to Christ. He helped me develop a greater love for God and the Church. He was faithful to what he did.’ Ultimately, I want for them to say I brought Christ to them and was his light to them,” he said.

“It’s all about bringing Christ to people. That would be the greatest compliment.”

According to Kim Sprague, he has already begun to succeed in this desire. Sprague is youth minister and director of religious education at St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Parish in Bright, where Deacon Marcotte served last summer.

“He’s going to be a very holy priest for the archdiocese, with a desire to serve the people and draw them closer in their relationship with Christ,” she said.

‘He has a real gentleness’

In interviews with those who know Deacon Marcotte well, several phrases and adjectives recurred: intelligent, gentle leader, good homilist, funny and prayerful.

“He is a man of prayer,” said Msgr. Anthony Volz, pastor of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis, where Deacon Marcotte ministered for a summer while in the seminary. “He’s dedicated to prayer time. That’s so important.

“He’s very funny,” the priest added. “I think that helps people feel comfortable around him.”

Benedictine Father Denis Robinson, Saint Meinrad’s president-rector, also sees interacting with people as one of Deacon Marcotte’s strengths.

“He’s insightful and intelligent, and he knows how to work with people,” Father Denis said. “He’s able to work with people at every level, as a peer but also with those who need to be guided and trained. He’s able to do that with a great deal of gentleness and kindness.”

Sprague witnessed this, too, as Deacon Marcotte helped a new altar server one day, “a-wide-eyed, young girl.”

She described how Deacon Marcotte “very gently guided her on to the next steps” as she served during Mass.

“He has a real gentleness about him,” Sprague said. “That is so important. That can really impact someone’s desire of whether or not they want to be involved.”

Sprague added that Deacon Marcotte “gave wonderful homilies that connected with all ages. He related teachings to the everyday lives of parishioners. People were always complimenting him on his homilies.”

Father-brother knows best

Of those who know Deacon Marcotte, Father Marcotte might have dibs on knowing him best, having grown up with him and experienced seminary at the same time as him.

Father Marcotte spoke at length when asked what gifts his brother brings to the priesthood.

“I think one of the best things he’s going to do is lead by example,” the priest said. “I think that he is a man of faith, and I think that he will practice what he preaches. That goes a long way into helping other people understand how to live their faith, how to come to the faith, how to experience God in their lives.

“My brother is very intelligent, so I think he understands and has internalized a lot of the big questions that people ask.

“He honestly cares about people,” Father Marcotte continued. “He honestly wants people to come to know Jesus, and because of that he’s going to have a real thirst for souls.”

Father Marcotte will be the homilist at his brother’s Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Michael Parish in Greenfield at 10:45 a.m. on June 8.

“I’m incredibly excited for him because I know how awesome priesthood is this side of [the seminary].”

‘Embrace the possibility’

Irene and Bill Marcotte, the parents of the young religious men, share that excitement as the ordination of their second son draws near.

“We see in our older son how happy he is with his life as a priest,” Irene said. “We believe that Dave will have that same type of life.

“We always encouraged the boys to look at that side of life as a vocation. Sometimes people aren’t too supportive when their son says they want to be a priest, but we have always told them to embrace the possibility of becoming a priest. That way they know if they want to be one or not.

“I’m glad we never discouraged them from considering the priesthood.”

With their only two children entering into priestly life and minstry, Irene said she in particular initially struggled at the prospect of having no grandchildren.

But she has since found peace.

“I feel God has blessed us in so many ways that it doesn’t matter that we won’t have grandchildren,” she said. “We appreciate all [our sons] are going to be able to do in all the parishes where they serve.”

‘He will be a marvelous priest’

No matter which parish Deacon Marcotte serves, Msgr. Volz sees him being “an extremely capable priest.”

“I was best friends with Father Severin,” he said. “He would always talk highly about the Marcottes. Everything he said was right.

“I know he’ll be smiling from heaven” when Deacon Marcotte is ordained, he said.

“[Deacon Marcotte] is totally loyal to his vocation to the priesthood,” Msgr. Volz added. “He loves his call, which is very evident.

“He will be a marvelous priest.”

(For more information about a vocation to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, log on to

More about Deacon David Marcotte

  • Age: 27
  • Parents: Bill and Irene Marcotte
  • Home Parish: St. Michael Parish in Greenfield
  • Seminary: Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis and Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad
  • Favorite Scripture verse: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you …” (Jn 15:16)
  • Favorite saint: St. Paul—“The feast of the conversion of St. Paul is my birthday, so I always had a special connection to him. For someone who had such a profound conversion experience in their life, that’s something I pray for.”
  • Favorite devotion: Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Favorite hobbies: Exercise, playing and watching sports, reading historical non-fiction, and getting into brewing beer

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