The Beacon — The Beacon_051817
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Bishop Ordains 10 Men To Diaconate May 13
Michael Wojcik

Consecrates Diocese to Immaculate Heart of Mary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima’s centennial anniversary

PARSIPPANY A joyful Bishop Serratelli ordained 10 diocesan seminarians to the transitional diaconate May 13 and officially consecrated the Diocese of Paterson to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions at Fatima

On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima last Saturday at a Mass in St. Peter the Apostle Church here, the Bishop brought the 10 men a step closer to being called to ordination as priests. He also used the occasion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearances at Fatima in Portugal — which were also celebrated on that Saturday [see story page 2] — by encouraging the newly ordained deacons to imitate Mary as “heralds of the Gospel” and by officially consecrating the entire Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

During the Celebration of Ordination to the Order of Deacon, steeped in the rich traditions of the early Church, Bishop Serratelli ordained the following men: Jader J. Avila, Jorge H. Castano, Dulibber G. Gonzalez, Yohan A. Serrano and Juan F. Velez of Colombia; Joseph R. Boykow of Rockaway; and Kamil Kiszka, Mateusz Darlak, Krzysztof L. Slimak and Lukasz Wnuk of Poland. The Bishop served as the main celebrant and homilist of the Mass with many priests of the Diocese as concelebrants.

“On this day, when the whole Church remembers with great joy the apparitions of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima, we rejoice in this Diocese for her eternal protection and we thank Almighty God that 10 young men, like Mary, have heard the special vocation that God has given to them. With their lives today, like Mary, these men say ‘fiat’: ‘be it done according to Thy will,’ ” Bishop Serratelli declared in his opening remarks of the Mass.

Many of the prayers, hymns and readings were recited and sung in English, Spanish and Polish, reflecting the heritage of many of those men whom the Bishop ordained. Filling St. Peter’s were well-wishers — family, friends, priests and religious of the Diocese, members of the parishes where these men have served and the faithful of the diocese — who attended the ordination as a sign of encouragement to the newly ordained deacons.

Near the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Serratelli led priests and congregation in kneeling and reciting the Diocese’s Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as she asked of faithful around the world to do during one of her appearances at Fatima. Local faithful asked Mary to “plead for us with your beloved Son that he may give us in abundance the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith, increase our hope and inflame our charity” and to “look kindly upon all people and all nations and, by your powerful intercession, lead them to Christ the Prince of Peace.” Afterward, the Bishop and Msgr. Herbert Tillyer, St. Peter’s pastor and one of many Mass concelebrants, signed documents attesting to the consecration.

Last weekend, parishioners across the Diocese also recited the Act of Consecration with their parish priests during all Masses. For the 100th anniversary of Fatima, a plenary indulgence — which removes all temporal punishment due for sins — is being offered to those faithful, who visit a church that displays an image of the Blessed Mother or Our Lady of Fatima. Also, they must recite an Our Father, Hail Mary and the Apostles’ Creed — which worshipers at the May 13 Mass at St. Peter’s did — and then receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation within a week afterward, the Bishop told the congregation.

The Celebration of Ordination to the Order of Deacon began with Father Hubert Jurjewicz, diocesan vocations director, asking the Bishop to ordain the candidates for deacon. Then, the Bishop asked about their worthiness. Father Jurjewicz replied, “After inquiry among the Christian people and upon the recommendation of those responsible, I testify that they have been found worthy.” After accepting them, the Bishop asked for the approval of the assembly, which it enthusiastically granted with its applause.

“How blessed are you deacons that you are ordained on such as great feast [of Our Lady of Fatima], for you are being called, like Mary, to bring the Word to others — to herald the ‘Good News’ and to lead others to Jesus, who alone gives true peace to our souls and to our world,” Bishop said in his homily.

Bishop Serratelli also listed a deacon’s responsibilities: to proclaim the Gospel, to dispense the Eucharist, to give instruction in holy doctrine, to prepare the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to preside over Baptisms, marriages, funerals and public prayer. A deacon also carries out acts of charity in the name of the Bishop or pastor.

During the ordination, each candidate stood before Bishop Serratelli, who questioned him on the Office of Deacon. Each candidate declared his intention to be ordained to the diaconate and to fulfill its duties. They each knelt before the Bishop and placed their hands between his, promising obedience and respect to him and to his successors. The candidates then prostrated themselves before the altar, symbolizing their humility and dependence on God’s grace. The Bishop invited the assembly to join in praying the Litany of the Saints to ask God to bless the candidates.

In keeping with the practice of the Apostolic Church, Bishop Serratelli laid hands on the head of each candidate to signify the conferral of the Holy Spirit and the commission to service. He asked God to dedicate these men to the service of the Church and to renew the spirit of holiness within them.

“Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift for your grace for the faithful carrying out of the work of the ministry,” the Bishop said.

Then he invited priests to help the deacons put on their stoles and dalmatic, before he handed the Book of the Gospels to each of the candidates. He told them, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.” After, the Bishop and other deacons gave the newly ordained the fraternal sign of peace, welcoming them into the Order of Deacon.

In his closing remarks, Bishop Serratelli led worshipers in the Prayer for Vocations and thanked those people who have supported and encouraged these newest deacons, including family, friends, priests, their seminary communities and parishes, where they have served.

“May God, who has called you [transitional deacons] to the service of others in his Church, give you great zeal for all, especially the afflicted and the poor,” Bishop Serratelli prayed at the end of the Mass. “May he who has entrusted you with the peaching of the Gospel of Christ help you as you live according to his Word to be sincere and fervent witnesses of it. May he, who has appointed you stewards of his mysteries, make you imitators of his Son, Jesus Christ, and ministers of unity and peace in the world,” he prayed.