Ordination Profile: Deacon Chris Geiger
The men scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood May 21 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in downtown Cincinnati responded to questions from The Catholic Telegraph to profile their background and journey to the priesthood. TheCatholicTelegraph.com will publish profiles each day this week leading up to ordination.
Deacon Chris Geiger
I’m the oldest of seven. I have four sisters and two brothers. Two of my siblings are married, and I have four nieces and nephews. As a deacon, I have had the chance to baptize two of my nephews.
My home parish is St. Susanna in Mason, and I did my internship at Holy Angels in Sidney. My schooling included grade school at St. Susanna, Mason High School and the University of Cincinnati (bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a second major in mathematics.
• What was the process that led you to pursue the priesthood?
Honestly, it came down to prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. When I was nearing the end of my time in college at the University of Cincinnati, I became increasingly convinced of the necessity to pray daily. During this time, I tried to make more time to pray in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and during this time of prayer I knew that God was drawing my heart toward the priesthood. Of course actually taking the leap and entering the seminary was a very difficult thing to do, but, at this point, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It has been so encouraging to see that God has a plan for my life, that He has called me to His priesthood, and that His call is to a life of joy.
• What has the journey been like as you neared ordination?
It’s kind of funny… leading up to my ordination to the diaconate I was worried all the time, and even scared to take that step. However, the day of my ordination to the diaconate was the happiest day of my life. Now, as I look towards being ordained to the priesthood, I’m not worried, but I have a great deal of peace and joy.
• Was there a single person who greatly influenced your decision to become a priest?
Jesus Christ… it was His love, and His call that brought me here. My parents have also been incredibly important in my answer to the call to the priesthood. They never pressured me, or my brothers and sisters, towards any vocation. They have always told us that they just want us to follow God’s plan for our life, whatever that may be. They have been unbelievably supportive for me in answering the call to the priesthood, and they have been unbelievably supportive for my siblings in their own vocations. The freedom and love that they have given to my siblings and me has been inspiring and has been essential for all of us in following our vocations.
• How has being a deacon (or your practical internship) influenced the type of priest that you will be?
One of my favorite things about being a deacon has been having the opportunity to preach. I love preaching, and I hope that it is an important and fruitful piece of my priesthood.
• What are some of your thoughts about beginning priestly life?
I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to say Mass and to hear confessions. I am really looking forward to being able to speak the words of consecration and to hold Jesus Christ in my hands, the One I love so much and the One who loves me so much. And the sacrament of confession has been so important in my own spiritual journey; I am thrilled to be an instrument for the Lord’s mercy for others.
• What advice would you offer about discerning a vocation?
Make saying “yes” to the Lord a way of life. Find ways to say “yes” to Him in little ways everyday. Say “yes” to Him by praying every day and by loving those who you encounter in your life everyday. If you say “yes” in all of these little ways, then you will be prepared to say “yes” to Him when you discern His calling for your life… make saying “yes” to God a way of life.
• What will you miss most about your seminary preparation time? What will you value most?
I really believe that I have received an excellent education at the seminary, and I was given many opportunities to grow closer to the Lord. I think the one thing I will miss the most is being able to spend time with the other seminarians; they have become by best friends.
• What types of jobs have you had?
I worked as a caddy at a golf course, and I also spent a few years working at Kings Island. I’ve been a cashier, waited tables, and worked at summer camps. I also taught high school math for a year before entering the seminary.
• What sort of extracurricular activities did you enjoy in college?
I tried to play every sport possible: baseball, basketball, golf, ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, football, tennis… anything I could compete in. I’m a huge Reds fan, and I followed them religiously while I was in college… actually, I’ve followed them closely my whole life. I also really enjoyed going to football and basketball games with my friends while I was at the University of Cincinnati.
Other Profiles (Date published)
Deacon Sean Wilson (May 16)
Deacon Jason Williams (May 17)
Deacon Timothy Fahey (May 17)
Deacon Alex McCulough (May 18)
Deacon Matt Feist (May 19)
Deacon Eric Roush (May 19)
Deacons Reagan, Bertke and Smith (May 20)
This seminarian profile first appeared in the May 2016 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.