For the first time since I was ordained, I attended ordination today for 4 new Deacons. The setting was the same place I was ordained; the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in New Orleans. These new Deacons are studying and discerning the Priesthood so they will be considered Transitional Deacons. I'm a Permamnet Deacon. Despite this difference in terms the ordination rite is the same.
The new Deacons are Christian DeLerno and Bryan Howard for the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Raymond Mukoyonzo and Raphael Owor from the Archdiocese of Tororo in Uganda.
Several of my classmates from our ordination class were there for the Mass and Ordination.
The beauty of an ordination is awe inspiring. From the richness of each prayer, the majesty of the music, the promise of the elect to lead a simple life and remain celibate and obedience to the Archbishop and his successors, the beautifully sung litany of Saints, the moment the Archbishop lays hands on the elect, the investiture of the stole and dalmatic; the vestments of the Deacon, the presentation of the Book of the Gospels; so powerful, so awesome; a true movement of the Holy Spirit.
In his homily today Archbishop Gregory Aymond made the clear connection between what we do today and what was done nearly 2,000 years ago as detailed in the Acts of the Apostles with the first Deacons. The Archbishop also took time to carefully describe for all present the ministry of the Deacon; charity, word and sacrament. But at the forefront of the diaconate is charity. It is the Deacon who often brings Christ to the prison, the hospital, into nursing homes and soup kitchens. Archbishop Aymond described the Deacon as the conscious of the Church and the instrument by which the Church goes where it does not look inviting to go.
As a reminder of their ordination, Aymond encouraged the 4 new Deacons to touch the Book of the Gospels everyday as a reminder that the Word of God will encourage them and that they will have the awesome priviledge to proclaim His holy Gospels.
I also remember that moment in my own ordination when all the community of Deacons are invited forward to welcome us with an embrace or kiss of peace. Today was the first time I was able to do this as a Deacon to the newly ordained. In some way, thanks to the Holy Spirit, without really knowing these men personally, I felt the connection as brothers in service to God's Church and His people as Deacons.
My prayer tonight is the same words that the Archbishop uses at ordination rites and the words we heard today: May God who has begun this good work in you now bring it to fulfillment!
Music and Art for Trinity Sunday
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