Diaconate Ordination 2019
What a joyous occasion this past Thursday, 3 October 2019, was for thirty-one men of the Pontifical North American College who were ordained to the transitional diaconate. Standing before the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, they made their promises of celibacy, obedience, and prayer followed by the laying on of hands by the Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, Bishop of Portland, Maine, making them deacons of the Roman Catholic Church.
In preparation for this momentous day, the week began on Sunday, 29 September 2019, with a welcome Mass and reception for the friends and family of the ordinandi held in the Immaculate Conception Chapel of the Pontifical North American College. Following this, many of the men took the opportunity to show their loved ones the many wonderful places and holy sites that Rome has to offer. The family and friends enjoyed tours of the Scavi, given by many of the seminarians, which entails viewing the excavations below St. Peter’s Basilica and ends with a veneration of the bones of St. Peter. Others simply enjoyed walking the streets of Rome eating great food and drinking an expresso or two. On Wednesday, 2 October 2019, the vigil of the ordination, the parents, family, and friends had the opportunity to adore the Real Presence of Our Lord at Chiesa del Gesù. During this holy hour, those present were invited to pray for the men to be ordained the following day. Many priest-alumni of the Pontifical North American College were also present to hear confessions. That same evening, those to be ordained gathered together with all the men of the house in the Immaculate Conception Chapel to pray as one house for the ordinandi.
The ordination mass was greatly attended by guests from the United States of America, Australia, and many other parts of the world. Bishop Deeley spoke to those about to be ordained about living a life rooted in the Gospel. He explained to them that the fundamental mission of the deacon is to bring the message of God’s love, which they have first received, to others. He concluded by saying that if the newly ordained strived to fulfill all that the Church expected of them, with the grace of God, they would hear the blessed words of Our Savior, “well done my good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.”
Following the ordination mass, the newly ordained, along with their family and friends, gathered in the cortile of the Pontifical North American College for light refreshments. Many of the newly ordained deacons were able to spend a few days with their family before beginning a new school year. God willing, in less than a year, these same deacons will be ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, in their respective dioceses.