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  • Writer's pictureCatholic Ministries Appeal

Deacon Ditto Wilson Wants To Be Where Parishioners Are

By John Woods

As a boy in Tamil Nadu in South India, Deacon Ditto Subin Wilson, M.Id., always enjoyed spending time at the church in the village, where he lived with his parents and two siblings. He enjoyed serving at the altar and getting to know the priests of Our Lady of Lourdes parish there.

When a new church was built, it was dedicated to St. John de Britto, a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Tamil Nadu. Young Ditto found himself captivated by the paintings of the saint’s life on the church walls and began to think about following his footsteps as a missionary.

He first encountered the Idente Missionaries of Christ the Redeemer when they came to speak to high school students at his home parish, where several other candidates had previously been received.

He soon visited the Idente Missionaries for three days to share in their daily prayers and mission work and to share in cooking and eating with the community. After completing high school, he expressed his desire to be an Idente Missionary.

The “family spirit” of the Idente Missionaries stood out to Deacon Wilson. The community’s approach joined holiness with humanity, which gave the recruit confidence that the Idente mission wasn’t riding on his own greatness.

“I can move slowly, denying myself and taking up my cross,” Deacon Wilson said. “Let me go and see what I can experience more…Giving more importance to the Heavenly Father and how He loves us.”

Deacon Wilson, 32, professed first vows in Kerala in 2011, three years before he came to New York, where he served as youth minister at Santa Maria parish, the Bronx, before beginning philosophy studies at St. John’s University.

In 2018 he enrolled for priestly formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, where he earned a master of divinity and bachelor of theology—granted by St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)—and a master of arts in theology.

Deacon Wilson, who professed final vows in 2021 at Our Lady of Solace Church in the Bronx, said he looks forward to sharing his ordination day with a fellow Idente Missionary and says he and Deacon Nam “helped each other to persevere” in the seminary.

In recent years, he also served as a catechist in the religious education program at Santa Maria. His first assignment after ordination will be at St. Luke’s parish in Brentwood, where he previously served as a catechist and did summer day camp work. He will lead the youth group and supervise religious education.

He will also be involved in an Idente program for young people focused on Eucharistic adoration and artistic sharing known as The Encounter.

Deacon Wilson said he wants to be present where parishioners gather. “I like to be around people, talking to them and getting to know them better,” he said.

He plans to model his priestly ministry on how Jesus reached out to others. “Not to hold myself back with my own status or understanding. I want to be open to see more people, to get closer to them,” he said.

Deacon Wilson will celebrate his first Mass at Santa Maria parish in the Bronx on Sunday, June 11, at 12 noon.

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