By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — The ordination of Reverend Michael Beverung to the priesthood on Saturday, May 22, was a timely reminder of God’s promise to remain with us through the sacraments — a reminder many could use after being battered by historic flooding just days earlier.
His Excellency, The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, was the ordaining prelate for the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. In his homily, he noted the “unprecedented difficulties” many are facing from several natural disasters in less than a year’s time.
When friends from elsewhere ask how things are going in Louisiana, Bishop Provost said the answer escapes him, which drew a chuckle from the congregation as many can relate to how he feels.
“With two hurricanes simultaneous to a pandemic, an ice storm and now flooding, I am challenged to find adequate words,” he said; however, “this inadequacy is exactly what the Lord wants because He will provide the words. All we must do is listen.”
“There comes a time when disaster strikes,” Bishop Provost continued. “Something terribly unpleasant happens and we are devastated as never before. We run to the Lord and ask, ‘Why?’ What do we do next? We listen. We return to the Blessed Sacrament, and we listen. The Lord is calling us to obedience, to hearken to His voice, a voice found in silence. ... As stubborn human nature would have it, sometimes only catastrophes can unstop our ears to listen."
Father Beverung is evidence of someone who has listened and been obedient to God’s voice.
“I remember spending many hours in the Adoration chapel at Our Lady Queen of Heaven during high school,” said the newly ordained priest. “That is where I felt God’s call the most.”
His parents, Steven and Patsy Beverung, remember well their only son’s closeness to the Lord during his teenage years and were somewhat expecting his interest in the seminary.
“When Michael first told me that he wanted to be a priest, I was not surprised,” his mother said. “I could tell by his involvement with the youth group and always wanting to go to Mass or spend time in the Adoration chapel. I know Michael must be feeling relief after being ordained because this is something he has wanted for a long time. Both his father and I are very proud of him.”
His mother said that listening is a strength of Michael’s that will serve him well in his vocation as a priest.
“Michael has the ability to be able to listen to people and always be fair,” Patsy said. “He also knows how to make others feel calm and comfortable. Many people have told me these are positive traits they see in him.”
Father Beverung said he has been blessed with wonderful priest role models in his life, one especially who served as a mentor during his discernment process. The Very Rev. Ruben J. Buller, V.G., assisted Michael with vesting, which is customary as a way to honor a mentor priest.
Before the vesting, every priest in attendance laid hands on Michael as a symbol of unity among the brother priests. The collective gathering of priests was a visible reminder of their selfless vocation in service to others and their obedience to God.
Expressing his gratitude to Bishop Provost for allowing him to study as a seminarian for the Diocese of Lake Charles, Father Beverung said he is thankful for the bishop’s strong support of priestly formation. He also conveyed appreciation to Monsignor Torres, his first vocation director and pastor at his home parish of Our Lady Queen of Heaven, as well as his parents, family and friends who have always been there for him through his journey to the priesthood.
Bishop Provost extended his best wishes and blessing to those gathered.
“It is a joyful day in the Diocese of Lake Charles. Indeed, we need a little joyful celebration in the midst of our woe,” he said. “Our Lord gives us these moments so that we can participate in the joy that He has promised us at the end of the age when He will come again. We are confident and hopeful always, and this ordination is a sign of hope.”
Before the final blessing, Deacon George Stearns, diocesan chancellor, announced several pastoral assignments, including Father Beverung’s first priestly assignment as Parochial Vicar to Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Sulphur.
For the complete text of Bishop Provost’s ordination homily, visit http://www.lcdiocese.org/3-news/3183-bishiop-provost-s-2021-ordination-homily
To view photos from the Rite of Ordination, click here.
To view photos of the rehearsal and Blessing of the Chalice, click here.