The Pontifical North American College

November 12, 2016

Diaconate Ordinations 2016

Over three years ago thirty men left their homes, their families, and their diocese as they were sent to Rome to continue their formation in response to God’s call.  Men from all over the United States and Australia who had prayed, studied, and grown together preparing for this day were now to be ordained in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Chair of the Apostle to the transitional diaconate by Sean Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap., of the Archbishop of  Boston.

In the days leading up to the ordination the men spent time with their families and loved one who support and pray for them on the path to the upcoming ordination.  The week began with a family Mass and continued with tours of Rome and the Vatican. On Wednesday night, the eve of the ordination, there was a vigil including a holy hour with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The vigil was a coming together of the entire seminary community before God in for the continued blessing on the men to be ordained.

Those to be ordained lay prostrate as the Litany of the Saints is prayed.
Those to be ordained lay prostrate as the Litany of the Saints is prayed.

The following morning St. Peter’s was a buzz. Final preparations were being made by all involved in the liturgy and behind the scenes. The set up continued as the choir rehearsed for the last time. Then, the procession began. Thirty men would approach the altar and enter the sanctuary as laymen, and leave as deacon to serve the Church. In the ordination Rite the men promised a life of celibacy, prayer, and obedience. After they made the promises they lay prostrate on the floor of the Basilica where in a beautiful moment the people all kneel and the Litany of Saints is prayed. Following this the Cardinal spoke.

In his homily Cardinal O’Malley drew a parallel between the service these men will provide at the liturgy to the works of mercy lived every day. Consistent with the message of service to the liturgy and the people, His Eminence also said to “learn Spanish”. Learn the language and culture of those whom you will serve, that you may serve them more completely.

After the ordination the new deacons congratulated each other, then joined with their loved ones and returned to the College for a reception.