Deacon Stephan Brunck blesses a parishioner at St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto. Photo by Evan Boudreau.

German priest influenced conversion

  • May 29, 2014

TORONTO - A decade after converting to Catholicism, Stephan Brunck is now a deacon.

“I’m a convert from the Lutheran faith,” he said. “It is 10 years ago on the Easter night that I converted.”

His conversion story, which ultimately led to him joining the permanent diaconate, started more than 10 years ago. At that time Brunck, still living in his native Germany, got engaged to a Catholic woman, Lynn, who would become his wife.

“Rather than a pivotal moment it was the influence of the parish priest that I had in Germany” that brought Brunck to Catholicism, the 51-year-old said. “In all the questions that I raised to him he was a very firm witness. It took a lot of strength to live the faith and I think that is what he really showed.”

That priest was Fr. Magnus Kochig in Halle, Germany.

After a lengthy discernment Brunck converted to the Catholic faith, moved to Canada in 2004 and eventually connected with another influential priest, Fr. Edwin D’Souza, who introduced him to Deacon Jerry Godsoe.

“The meaning of the conversations I had with the deacon confirmed my interest in finding a way of serving God and His people and in doing that growing closer to God in my faith,” he said.

On May 24, Brunck, along with seven others, was ordained a deacon during a 10 a.m. service at St. Paul’s Basilica.

During the decade which brought about his ordination Brunck changed not only his marital status, faith and finally his role in the Church, he also changed his career from a corporate chemist to a self-employed baker in an effort to find harmony.

“I came to a point of wanting to bring harmony into my life,” he said. “This included how does my career life fit into that harmony. I came to realize that the corporate career that I was pursuing did not allow me to bring that harmony into all the aspects of my life.”

Now feeling harmonized Brunck looks to be the hand of God for those he will serve at the retirement home associated with Sts. Martha and Mary parish in Mississauga, Ont.

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