I Want to be a Servant to the People
Transitional Deacon Walner Diaz, C.M., was born and raised in El Salvador, and made his way to Dix Hill, New York. Being in America provided many opportunities for Walner, but it wasn’t an easy adjustment. He spoke little English, and he could only find work in manual labor jobs. The money was good, and life was better, but Walner felt unfilled.
“When I came to America, I made my mother a promise that I would attend Mass every Sunday,” Walner recalls. “A Vincentian would sometimes celebrate Mass at my parish, and he would talk about what the Vincentians did in their missions. I was intrigued.” That same Vincentian asked Walner to attend discernment meetings once a month at the Miraculous Medal House in Queens, New York. He did attend and, Walner says, “I liked what I saw.” The rest, as they say, is Vincentian history.
On the cusp of his June 4th ordination to the priesthood, Walner knows that God has called him to live and serve in community with the Vincentians. “I like living together as brothers. We listen to one another. I can learn from the Vincentians that I live with. I can grow as a person living in community.”
Walner is excited about what comes next after ordination. When asked about what the future might hold, he says, “More than giving homilies, I want to be a servant to the people.”
Let us pray that God be with him and give him the strength and grace he needs in this time as he prepares for this great moment in his life.