Maryknoll Vocation Ministries is a service to the Maryknoll Society.
This blog aims to keep Maryknoll Formation Candidates and
Vocation Prospects abreast of discernment and Church issues.

February 10, 2015

Meet Maryknoll's new Deacon

Deacon Shaun Crumb, M.M.

Shaun Crumb spent his childhood at Woodlawn Resort and Campground in Glenwood, a fishing resort that his parents have owned and operated for the past 41 years.

His experience of service there helped inspire his journey toward becoming a Maryknoll priest, which will grow one step closer on Dec. 13 when he was ordained a transitional deacon at his home parish, Sacred Heart in Glenwood, MN. “Growing up at the resort was good mission preparation because we were always on call to help people,” Crumb explained. “You have to be really flexible working at a resort and as a missioner, too.”

After graduating from high school, Crumb attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, graduating in 2001 with a major in social work and minor in theology.  “As a student at SJU, I went on an Alternative Spring Break service trip every year, which sparked my interest in service and reaching out to the poor. After I graduated, I went to China for a year to teach English as a volunteer with Maryknoll.

“The culture was very different from the U.S., but somehow I felt at home there, especially after getting to know the people,” he said. “Without knowing the language and culture, I had to rely on God even more to help me survive in a new country and communicate with the people.”

Crumb taught with two Maryknoll priests, Fathers Brian Barrons and Larry Radice, and Maryknoll Brother Joe Bruener.  “I became more interested in their lifestyle of living simply and being in solidarity with the people they serve,” Crumb said. “They struck me as being down-to-earth and knowing the people on a deeper level because of their openness and seeing the face of Christ in everyone they encounter.”

Inspired overseas

Upon his return from China, Crumb returned to St. John’s University, taking a position in campus ministry as the social justice and service coordinator for five years.  While there, he completed a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from St. John’s School of Theology/Seminary.   Throughout his time at SJU, Crumb led mission trips including an annual trip to Chimbote, Peru. 

“Seeing the church be the hands and feet of Jesus by reaching out to the marginalized inspired me to want to stay in a country like Uganda or Peru,” he said.  “I wanted to live in solidarity with the people and do what I can to alleviate suffering as well as be an example of Christ’s mercy and love in poverty stricken parts of the world.”

In 2008, Crumb packed his bags and headed for Maryknoll, N.Y.  “I joined Maryknoll because I like the adventure of mission,” Crumb said. “I like exploring new countries and experiencing God through the people and their culture.  God’s love is revealed through experiencing life with the people. Serving one another, together, we build the kingdom of God and are examples of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.”

After a year of reflection and learning about Maryknoll history,
Crumb spent three years of theology studies in Chicago at Catholic Theological Union.  He then went on the Overseas Training Program to Cochabamba, Bolivia, for three years.  .  “I was a volunteer at Franciscan Outreach, which is one of the largest homeless shelters in Chicago,” he said. “I also helped out with the Night Ministry, which does homeless outreach on the streets.”  Additionally, he served as a hospital chaplain and organized service experiences at a Catholic high school.

Crumb also spent time in Kenya and Tanzania to experience some of the work Maryknoll is doing there.  “I was able to visit Homa Bay, Kenya, when I was there,” he said. “I was welcomed with open arms thanks to the wonderful partnership and relationships between our [St. Cloud] diocese and Homa Bay.”

Currently, Crumb is back in Chicago finishing his master of divinity degree with a concentration in world mission.  He participates in a variety of ministries while taking courses.  Now as a transitional deacon, he will serve as a deacon at Benedict the African Parish, located on the south side of Chicago, it serves a mainly African-American population.

written by Kristi Anderson for The Visitor

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