Saturday, October 15, 2011


Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach - Rite of Ordination to the Order of Deacon

Last week, on the feast of St. Bruno, 6 October 2011, thirty-five seminarians from the North American College were ordained deacons. If you've never been to an ordination before, you really should go to one. (For example, I know that Dcn. Ortega is scheduled to be ordained to the Priesthood on Dec. 17th. in Gaylord)

Even though as a new man I haven't had a chance to get to know these men, it was a really moving experience to see them lay down their lives for the service of the Lord. One of the most moving parts of an ordination for me is the Litany of Saints. The men to be ordained lay prostrate in front of the altar immediately proceeding the act of ordination, that is the laying on of hands by the bishop (in this case, Cardinal Lleveda). How beauitful and powerful it was to invoke the prayers of saints, whose remains are not only in the city but in the basilica. My heart was moved during the Litany when I heard the invocation of St. Peter chanted. I remembered that his earthly remains were directly below us. Just as so many men and women have laid out their lives as martrys (Greek for witnesses) before, these 35 men freely have laid out their lives as celibate deacons (and soon to be priests) in service of the Lord and his people.

Another aspect of this ordination that struck me was the image theHoly Spirit in the sculpture of the Chair of Peter. In every sacrament there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. During the rite of laying on of hands I found myself staring at the dove above the Chair of Peter. I thought of the passage of the Gospel of John where Jesus promises to send us the comforter, the Paraclete. Click on the picture below and look at the center of the golden circle and you should be able to see the dove, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. There really are not words to describe the beauty of ordinations. Pray for these men as they will soon enough be ordained Priests for service to the people of God in the United States and Australia.

May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment. - Rite of Ordination to the Order of Deacon

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