Seminarian Andrew Fryml is about to reach a major milestone on the road to the priesthood.
On June 3, he will be ordained to the transitional diaconate, a rite which will allow him to preach, proclaim the Gospel, baptize, assist during the liturgy and witness a marriage outside Mass. He’s particularly excited about the first two responsibilities.
“It’s very exciting to me to be able to proclaim the truth and then be able to talk about how to make the Gospel practical and part of daily living,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. There’s a lot of gravity that comes with it and I trust the Holy Spirit will guide me.”
Fryml just completed his third year of theology studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. He said it was a demanding time that included classes in Pauline literature and the canon law of marriage, just to name two subjects.
He also worked at Isaiah House, a Catholic-run halfway house for men who have been released from prison and are learning to adjust to life on the outside. The seminarian attended 12-step meetings with several of the residents once a week and then spent a few hours afterward listening to them, offering spiritual counseling and advice.
“It was moving because many of these men averaged 20 years in prison and now they’re coming out, the whole world has changed and in many cases family and friends left them behind,” Fryml said. “It was a process of walking with them slowly, encouraging them and also having to be firm and hold them accountable for their daily actions.”
“I had a beautiful time with them … it taught me we’re all weak and at any time we can fall,” he continued. “We all sin, and if we’re not continually putting ourselves in the Lord’s hand, that leads to greater sin.”
Fryml is one of four children of Jady and Kathleen Fryml, who lived in Spartanburg but recently moved to Charleston. He studied philosophy for two years at Presbyterian College in Clinton before discerning his call to the priesthood. Fryml then completed his college seminary studies at St. Andrew’s Hall at Seton Hall University in New Jersey before heading to St. Mary’s.
Knowing he will soon become a deacon also has made him more aware of the fact that he has only one more year of study to complete before he becomes a priest.
“I’ve always known I wanted to serve in South Carolina, and being away has just made me more committed to that,” Fryml said. “When you’re away from South Carolina you realize how much you miss the people, the food, being able to go to the mountains and the beach. I can’t wait to be back here serving the people of God here in my home state.”
Andrew Fryml’s ordination to the transitional diaconate will be June 3 at 6 p.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church, 5 St. Teresa Drive, Charleston.