The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Reflection: Seeing God’s providence on ordination day

Mother reflects on God's promises in the midst of suffering after loss of son

Published: August 5, 2020   
Catherine Phillips

God works in such mysterious ways. Eight years ago my son Daniel and his friend Joseph entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas and began their journey to the priesthood as seminarians for the Diocese of Little Rock. 

Daniel’s path to God ended up being more direct. He was killed in a car accident during his first year at seminary. Shortly after that, however, another young man also named Daniel became a seminarian for our diocese. Together, Joe and Daniel have moved through priestly formation and together they will receive holy orders on the feast of the Assumption. 

It is amazing to me that their ordinations will happen on a feast day so important to my son Daniel. You see, our home parish is Our Lady of the Assumption in Booneville. It may seem a small thing, but for me it’s a great reminder of God’s providence. God cares for us and directs all things for his good purpose. 

I just wanted to share this brief story to vivify my firm belief that even in the midst of pain, suffering, loss and confusion, we can choose to place our hope in Christ and hold fast to his promise of eternal life. 

I am so thrilled and excited that Deacon Joseph Friend and Deacon Daniel Velasco will be ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor Aug. 15. And I’m sure that Daniel will be celebrating with them. I hope that you’ll celebrate their lives and their ordinations, too. 

In fact, I hope that you will celebrate and support all our seminarians by joining Taste of Faith: Virtual Edition Aug. 8 on It will be an evening of joy and love and a celebration of life. Thanks be to God!

Catherine Phillips is respect life director for the Diocese of Little Rock. Her reflection was originally written for the August respect life newsletter.

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