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Archbishop invokes Mary at diaconate ordination

07 ADSF2017_Diaconate ordinations-15 PAGEBottom row, from left: Deacon Olet Abad, Deacon Dino Ornido, Deacon Bill McLoughlin, Deacon David Rolandelli, Deacon Abbie Nepomuceno. Middle row: Deacon Edward Te, Deacon Kimmy Salcido, Deacon Ric Cepriano, Deacon Sergio Gomez, Deacon Juan Michel. Top: Deacon Rich Foley, retired director of diaconate formation; Deacon Mike Ghiorso, director of diaconate ministry and life; Deacon George Khoury; Retired Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius Wang; Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone; Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice; Deacon Sal Campagna; Dominican Father Michael Sweeney, director of diaconate formation; Deacon Ferdinand Mariano. (Photo by Dennis Callahan/Catholic San Francisco)

May 25, 2017
Christina Gray

Thirteen new deacons were ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on May 20 at St. Mary’s Cathedral by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, who in his homily used the example of Jesus’ mother at the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Pentecost in describing the threefold ministry of a deacon.

We see Mary’s receptivity to the word of God at the Annunciation,” he said, when she is told by the Angel Gabriel she will bear the son of God. Hers is an obedient servant’s response: ‘Do unto me according to your word.’”

Deacon Olet Abad, Deacon Sal Campagna, Deacon Ric Cepriano, Deacon Sergio Gomez, Deacon George Khoury, Deacon Ferdinand Mariano, Deacon Bill McLoughlin, Deacon Juan Michel, Deacon Abbie Nepomuceno, Deacon Dino Ornido, Deacon David Rolandelli, Deacon Jimmy Salcido and Deacon Edward Te were ordained before several hundred family and friends, priests and deacons.

Just as Mary did at the Annunciation, said the archbishop, deacons must ponder the word of God before they can become its minister. “The word must be part of who he is, so he can preach and teach and act in a way that builds up a unity of faith,” he said.

The deacon is uniquely poised to do this, said Archbishop Cordileone. “An ordained deacon is a sacred minister, yet he is very much in the midst of the world, rubbing shoulders with those who are far away from Christ,” he said.

By virtue of sacramental ordination, deacons are called to be “servants” in word, sacrament and service. As ministers of the word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach and teach; as ministers of sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages and conduct or coordinate funeral services. As ministers of service, deacons identify the needs of others and organize resources of the church to meet those needs.

Archbishop Cordileone also invoked Mary’s charitable response at the Visitation, when she left home to be of service to her cousin Elizabeth, who in her old age would bear John the Baptist, and at Pentecost, when she leads us into deeper communion with her son.

“Let us always remember to obey her words,” he said: “Do whatever he asks.”

The deacons’ wives were also recognized for their commitment to their husbands’ vocation.

“Through their love and support, they have modeled discipleship and fidelity of their vows in service to the church,” said Dominican Father Michael Sweeney, director of the diaconate formation program.

At a reception in the cathedral’s Patron’s Hall after the Mass, the deacons shared their feelings about the day.

“It’s an exciting day that feels just like my wedding day,” said Deacon Edward Te, as he posed for photos with his wife and two children. “All the anxiety and all the happiness too.”

Deacon Dino Ornido said it didn’t really hit him until he was lying on the floor, prostrate, in acknowledgment of their dependence upon God. “I feel transformed, filled with the Holy Spirit,” he said.

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