Two Catholic U.S. Military Chaplain Candidates Ordained Transitional Deacons in Ohio The Reverend Mr. Michael Kapolka and the Rev. Mr. Edward Hoffmann reach next-to-last step in formational journey toward priestly ordination

The Reverend Mr. Michael Kapolka, 2d Lt, USAFR, and the Rev. Mr. Edward Hoffmann, (1LT) IRR, (both highlighted) were ordained transitional deacons in Cincinnati, OH, on April 25, 2020. Both hope eventually to go on active duty as U.S. Military chaplains.

CINCINNATI, OH – Two prospective Catholic U.S. Military chaplains were ordained transitional deacons on Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Cincinnati, OH. The Reverend Mr. Michael Kapolka, 2d Lt, USAFR, and the Rev. Mr. Edward Hoffmann, (1LT) IRR, (both highlighted in photo) hope eventually to serve as priests on active duty with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS).

Both new deacons are participating in priestly formation at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati, where each is pursuing a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Theology. Their diaconal ordination was celebrated at Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Dennis Marion Schnurr. The Rev. Mr. Hoffmann’s brother, Brother Henry Hoffmann, C.O., was also ordained to the diaconate at the 11:00 a.m. ordination Mass.

At the request of Archbishop Schnurr, participation in the Mass was limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The small congregation included the new deacons’ parents, Jeffrey and Debra Kapolka and David and Susan Hoffmann.

Diaconal ordination marks the penultimate step in the formational journey to priesthood. The Rev. Mr. Kapolka and the Rev. Mr. Hoffmann are scheduled to be ordained priests next year, after which each will serve for three years in his home Archdiocese of Cincinnati while remaining in the Reserves and preparing to go on active duty.

The Rev. Mr. Kapolka, 28, is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Middle Eastern History and a Master of Arts in Catholic Studies.  “After six years in formation,” the Rev. Mr. Kapolka said, “it is affirming to be called by my bishop to receive Major Orders, and it is humbling to enter into the clerical state promising fidelity to prayer, celibacy, and obedience.  I am excited to serve Our Lord and His Church as a transitional deacon, and I look forward, God willing, to serving Him as a priest in the future.”

The Rev. Mr. Hoffmann, 26, is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati where he took part in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. “I am so grateful to be invited by the Lord and His Church to lay down my life for the ministry of charity and the proclamation of the Gospel,” he said. “The promise of celibacy which I will make at this ordination is especially meaningful to me. It affirms the completeness of the self-offering to which I am called, expressed so well in a beautiful prayer attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola: ‘teach me, divine Master, to be generous–to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to suffer and not to ask for rest, to labor and to seek for no reward, save that of knowing that I do thy holy will. Amen.’’”

Young men interested in discerning a priestly vocation, and the vocation within a vocation to serve those who serve in the U.S. Military, can find more information at www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the AMS Vocations Director, Father Aidan Logan, O.C.S.O., by email at vocations@milarch.org.

Donations in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at www.milarch.org/donate.