Local News and Stories

Deacon James Wallace shares about his seminarian journey and graduating in the ‘class of COVID-19’

By Dominique Johnson

Finishing his last semester of seminary via Zoom wasn’t what Deacon James Wallace had imagined when he returned to the campus of Mundelein Seminary for the spring semester.

“They call us the class of COVID-19,” he said lightheartedly. Despite not being able to celebrate the culmination of seven years of studies with his classmates, his rector has helped the class remember the call of their vocation. He reminded us, “That God calls each of us for this moment in time.”

Wallace has taken time to reflect on those words during his time in quarantine and while on retreat. “The Lord will always provide us the grace that we need, in difficult moments, especially during the pandemic.” He added that “While I certainly have my misgivings about the timing, I’m overjoyed to serve the people of God at this time of need.”

Online classes for Wallace finished in early May, and he has since been using his time for service, “I’ve been assisting at a local food kitchen in Los Angeles,” he shared. Having the opportunity to be in California, he has spent time with his family, which he said “has been a tremendous blessing.”

As he looks back on the last seven years preparing for ordination, Wallace said that experiences in service and ministry have helped him come to a deeper understanding of God’s love. He has also learned more about himself, “I’ve discerned my own flaws, that sometimes I can be selfish with my own time and sometimes I truly need a community.”

In his year as a transitional deacon, Wallace has had the opportunity to serve at table and “to peer in and see the gifts and the beauty of the priesthood.” He shared that this last year has been one of the most significant years of his life.

James Wallace will be ordained to the priesthood June 19th at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Juneau. Wallace said, “I’m excited to be back with the people of Juneau and to bring Christ wherever I can and my talents.” He added, “I’ve never been happier as I approach ordination.”

The ordination of James Wallace to the priesthood will be livestreamed. For more information visit DioceseofJuneau.org