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Servants of the Lord: Archbishop to ordain 13 to diaconate

May 11, 2017

The permanent diaconate ordination Mass for the 13 members of the diaconate class of 2017 will be held May 20 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. With the sacrament of holy orders, the deacons are configured to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all.

 

14-15 Ornido, Dino_350pxDino Foronda Ornido
(married to Katharine Ornido)

48, St. Dominic San Francisco
Place of Birth:
Philippines.
Interests: Church, music (guitar and dance music production), technology, cooking, science, being a father to my two beautiful kids, and loving my wife.

I was overjoyed and scared when I received my acceptance letter from the permanent diaconate formation program five years ago. I didn’t think I would be considered!

My family’s faith journey started at St. Luke in Foster City. It was there that I witnessed what I thought was the impossible; my preteen kids were baptized along with my wife, a former atheist. And, it was here that I reignited my Catholic faith. We went from a completely secular home to one in which the Scriptures were regular conversation at our dinner table. We became the domestic church. It was Father Jonathan Paala and Deacon Paul Lucia of St. Luke who planted the seeds for my diaconate vocation. Father Jonathan called upon me and asked if I was interested in becoming a deacon. Without thought, I answered “Yes!” I was seeking more ways to deepen my faith and to serve, so the diaconate felt right for me.

Currently, we are parishioners of St. Dominic in San Francisco, where my wife and I minister in the marriage preparation program. I have been so fortunate to have met the Dominicans; they have been crucial pillars of support during all my formation years. As ordination draws near, I am increasingly joyful and I feel the light of Christ burning brighter in me.

 

14-15 Mariano_350pxFerdinand Mariano
(Corazon Mariano)

47, St. Patrick, San Francisco
Place of birth: Guagua Pampanga, Philippines
Interests: Oil painting, gardening, music

My journey in the diaconate began when I carefully and prayerfully reflected on the will in following God’s call. I know that I cannot do this task alone but with the help and understanding of my family particularly my wife. There were times that I have been reaching out with my spiritual director for spiritual advice and prayers. During the course of the past four years I felt that God was moving my heart in a way that I had never experienced before.

A feeling that God was asking me to do more which is more challenging. I was able to become more aware of God’s presence in my life and through prayer I was able to strengthen my relationship with God and be open to God’s will rather than my own. My discernment has invited me to the diaconate. A life of following Jesus, a ministry of helping those who are less fortunate and the commitment in serving others. I am very thankful for the kind support and understanding of my family, siblings, relatives, friends and parish communities where I served. I have to know that I am in the right direction, a journey that God has wanted me to travel and I have accepted the request. Unless I embrace the concept of myself as a co-worker of God in his divine plan of salvation it will be difficult to grasp the spirit of God that will always lead me to the right path. If God lives in me, I allow God to work in my life and he will take care of things at the right time. It is important for me to maintain, as a good servant of God, sincerity, and a sense of justice, good manners, fidelity to my word, a spirit of fellowship, service and readiness to work with others. St. Paul said “The one who calls me is faithful and he will accomplish it.

 

14-15 Abad, Olet_350pxManuel ‘Olet’ Abad
(Jossie Orense)

58, St. Stephen, San Francisco
Place of birth: Manila, Philippines
Children: Seve, 23; Olivia, 21
Interests: Traveling, cooking, eating, watching movies, reading and Bay Area sports teams (Warriors, Giants and 49ers).

As I look back, my permanent diaconate journey started way back during my college years. I became a member of the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action, which exposed me to social justice issues among the rural and urban poor. Since then, I have been cognizant of the ever-widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots. Fast-forward to the present. My volunteer work at the Lima Center (St. Dominic Church), The Gubbio Project, and Comunidad San Dimas (ministry to the juvenile incarcerated) has given me the grace to see Jesus in the eyes of the poor, the marginalized and the forgotten. I try to live by the words as written in Matthew 25:35-40, that what I do to the least of my brothers and sisters, I do to our Lord Jesus Christ. I know I cannot change world events but I can minister within an arm’s reach and do God’s will with joy. I am most grateful, too, to those who have accompanied me on this journey specially my wife Jossie and our children; the community of St. Stephen Parish including the deacons and priests who encouraged me to pray and answer God’s call and say, “Here I am, Lord.”

 

14-15 Salcido, Jimmy replace_350pxJimmy Salcido
(Eileen Salcido)

69, St. Dominic
Birthplace: San Francisco
Interests: Traveling with Eileen, nonfiction books and movies, spending time with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren 

It’s mind-boggling to think that five years has passed so quickly and what was accomplished. I now look at life through a spiritual lens. Formation has given me the blessing to see Christ at every turn. With four children, 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, I’m praying they see the presence of the Lord every time they see me. Parish life shares the top of my agenda along with Eileen. I started volunteer work at St. Dominic in 1999 and feel truly blessed that I could keep up the pace. I can remember in 2005 when Father Peter Rodgers was leaving for a new assignment, his parting words were, “Jimmy, you need to do more around here.” I don’t know if he was being humorous or he saw something in me that I didn’t know was there. The last two years with Comunidad San Dimas has me right on track with where I want to go, making a difference in the lives of youth who are searching for direction. I want to lead them to the light. Eileen and I had a meeting with Archbishop Cordileone and he asked me, “what stands out in the last five years of formation?” It has to be the classes on homiletics. Father David Pettingill made sure that we understood that the liturgy of the Eucharist is the central part of the Mass, and therefore the homily has to bring everyone to the table to share in the Eucharist. Father Sergius Propst, OP, taught us that life experiences as reflected, should parallel the teachings of the written word.

 

14-15 Michel, Juan_350pxJuan Manuel Michel
(Lucy Michel)

60, St. Charles Borromeo, San Francisco

Married to Lucy Michel for 36 years. We have nine children and six grandchildren. I have been working in retail for 30 years as a store manager. I am a member of the Neo-Catechumenal Way for 30 years. One of the principal structures of the Way is to live and to form communities just like the Holy Family of Nazareth whom lived in humbleness, simplicity and worshipping where the other brother is Christ. I first felt this call when I traveled with my community to do a step along with my catechists in Loreto, Rome. When we were singing the creed in the Roman Coliseum I thought of all the Christian martyrs that were put to death just for professing that they were Christians then this call was born within me to serve our Holy Mother Church knowing that I have been saved from my situation of sins through the announcement of the good news in that particular moment that I was living in my life. This announcement saved me and my marriage and was given to me for free, and I wanted to do the same for the community. It’s been five years and the call remains within my heart, to become a servant of the church and faithful to my archbishop. 

 

14-15 McLoughlin_350pxWilliam Joseph McLoughlin
(Christine McLoughlin)

66, St. Paul, San Francisco
Place of birth: San Francisco
Interests: Family, parish, books, sports, outdoors, gardening, and our dog Scooter

God’s formation for me has been happening through days at St. Cecilia and St. Ignatius schools, through all the friends I have met, who have shared their love and dreams with me, in person and in spirit. I am so greatly blessed by my family. I have also been touched by the hand of God by the many priests and sisters who helped me on the way. I thank God for the chance to serve all those around me.

 

14-15 George Khoury and Nariman Khoury_350pxGeorge Khoury
(Nariman Naber)

72, St. Thomas More, San Francisco
Place of birth: Jerusalem, Palestine
Interests: Reading, writing, music, jogging

I felt the call of God to serve him early on in my life at the age of 16. I entered the Latin Seminary of Jerusalem, and finished high school, four years of philosophy and theology, and learned several languages beside Arabic. I wanted to be a priest. However, family issues came in the way and prevented me from pursuing God’s call to the end. I changed plans and came to the U.S. in 1969. I got a B.A. and a master’s in French and Spanish language and literature. In 1975, I moved to California. In 1990 I got my doctorate degree in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. I have taught foreign languages most of my life. I am married to Nariman Naber, who works as a research scientist at UCSF. We have three daughters, Linda, Noura, and Dina. It was Father Labib Kobti who suggested that I should pursue a diaconate program if I were to serve God’s church more thoroughly. I wish I knew of the existence of this program earlier but as Italians are fond of saying, “Meglio tardi che mai” (better late than never). I pray that the Lord will sustain me and strengthen me in my diaconal ministry and that I’ll be in his hands a humble and docile instrument to the glory of his name.

 

14-15 Sal Campagna_350pxSal Campagna
(Laura Campagna)

50, St. Gregory, San Mateo
Place of birth: San Francisco
Interests: Photography, amateur radio, computers

About 15 years ago, having only been baptized, I fully entered into the Catholic Church. About five years after, I found that God, through the prompting of Deacon Steve and Barbara Fox, as well as my pastor, Bishop Robert McElroy, was calling me to think deeper about formation. While neither my wife nor myself would have been ready 10 years ago, we found ourselves at the right point in our lives to start formation about five years ago. Looking back on the last five years, I’m really amazed on how fast they have gone by. I’ve come to realize that our formation no longer means just time in the “classroom.” But that all our experiences, time with the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul, time with the priests and deacons, catechists and ministers of our parish, family and friends all contributed to our formation for the diaconate. They have all taught us something about life. More often than not, they are great examples of selfless service. They are examples of Jesus the servant, which our ordination configures us to. Many are the ones to be served, the ones that allow us the honor of serving Jesus through them. St. Francis said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach, unless our walking is our preaching.” Our ordination now prepares us to make our walking our preaching!

 

14-15 David Rolandelli_350pxDavid Rolandelli
(Mildred Alvarez-Rolandelli)

65, St. Matthias, Redwood City
Place of birth: San Francisco
Interests: Hospital ministry; reading nonfiction, especially history, politics, current events, biographies, works of spiritual authors.

Our diaconate formation program has taken me on a remarkable journey, although a journey that actually began long before our formal program. It began with the love and support of my wife, my parents and family, my friends, and my parish community, along with all those who have touched me in some way – even those unknown to me – throughout my life. God’s love connects us all, a love that transcends time and space; it is that unifying presence of God’s love that identifies who we are and what we are to be in relationship with each other. It is the love manifested by Christ through service to others, especially to the alienated and marginalized. Pope Francis asks us to enter fully into the reality of other people’s lives, to be fully present with them in their joys and sorrows, to listen to them and to touch their need. I pray that as servants of a servant church, we will respond to that call with the humility and compassion of Christ through a ministry that touches people’s hearts, shining the goodness of God’s love on a hurting world.

14-15 Gomez, Sergio_350pxSergio Gomez
(Griselda Gomez)

36, St. Paul of the Shipwreck, San Francisco
Place of birth: San Francisco
Interests: Working with youth, serving anyone who may need me, worshipping together with my family, helping others know God’s love, going to movies with family.

I was in a down moment when God helped me get up. I was called to start a youth group at St. Paul of the Shipwreck. Then a few thought I would be good as a deacon. I had no idea how or where to start but thanks to the support of Father Paul Gawlowski, a Franciscan priest; Deacon Larry Chatmon; and Sister Eva, a Franciscan nun; as well as our church family. We were able to understand our calling. My wife has always been supportive. I also asked my daughters at the time (there where two) and my wife was pregnant. (Samantha, Valeria, and Elizabeth) what they thought of me being a deacon. Our oldest answered, “If you think it is God calling and you want to go with it, then don’t ask us. Because you said to always follow God.” Here we are now days away from ordination. We have learned so much and are still receiving so many blessings.

 

14-15 Nepomuceno, Abbie_350pxAbbie Nepomuceno
(Josephine Nepomuceno)

57, St. Thomas More
Place of birth: Manila, Philippines
Children: Catherine, Julie Ann and Abigail.
Interests: Church history

I was educated in engineering by the Salesians of Don Bosco and work in quality control for a Bay Area oil refinery. We all need a place to practice our faith, have a sanctuary for worship, a place to nurture family and create friendships that go beyond time and space. I joined St. Thomas More in 1994 and found that particular place for me and my family. I also found priests and laity who give all that they are to the church. “All that I have is yours, I am nothing ... I can still hear and see clearly, like yesterday. These many acts of self-giving drew me incessantly and from within my inner most being came a yearning to respond to a call. I conveniently missed responding to the diaconate formation calls until 2012, when I began my discernment. I cannot help but be thankful to my wife, my family, the Salesian educators, men, women and families of St. Thomas More for the many moments of practicing and teaching what they believed.

 

14-15 Edward & Erlinda Te_350pxEdward Te
(Erlinda Te)

58, Sts. Peter & Paul, San Francisco
Place of birth: Quezon City, Philippines
Children: Emmanuel
Interests: Reading, teaching, raising tropical fish, sightseeing, eating

I work as a senior property accountant in a real estate management company. The diaconate formation has been a good journey with my wife Erlinda, my classmates and their beloved wives. My vocation started with the love of teaching children through the religious education program at our parish. I share the gift of faith with children as the director of religious education and with adults in baptism preparation and other parish functions. Continuous education in our ministry is important to further knowledge and faith. I have learned and matured spiritually in deepening my prayer life, and intellectually with the rigors of coursework and class discussion. Through formation I am able to act more humanly, justly and kindly to the people I meet, working and serving in the various pastoral and liturgical ministries of the church. Living in the culturally diverse city of San Francisco, education, shared faith, and compassion are very much needed. The call and desire for ordination as the next stage in my spiritual and service-oriented formation becomes clearer. With the grace of God and inspired by the rich spiritual traditions that have formed me. “Da Mihi Animas Cetera Tolle, Ora et Labora, Luceat Lux” – may I imitate them in my ongoing humble service to God.

14-15 Cepriano, Ric_350pxRicardo ‘Ric’ R. Cepriano
(Marilyn ‘May’ R. Cepriano)

61, St. Dunstan, Millbrae
Place of birth: Manila, Philippines
Interests: Walking, tennis, basketball

Opening up myself to the formation program one week at a time over the last five years enlightened me on the importance of the Scriptures in my daily life, as well as the meaning of the church traditions in my faith and belief that the Catholic Church teaches and defends. My five-year formation led me into a greater appreciation of the beauty of the Catholic faith and my love for it grew even more. Having my wife on my side as we both go through the formation program is very beneficial not only for our marriage, but to our children, and the various ministries that we serve as well. I became more aware of the needs of my wife, children, which led me into strengthening my relationship with them and then, all of us building a working relationship with the parishioners as a family. My involvement in the parish as a member of pastoral council, altar society and liturgical ministries is an indication that my faith formation does not stop here. The more I learned about my faith and Jesus Christ as my savior, the more I want to continue to learn and deepen my spiritual life. As I look forward to serving the people of my assigned parish and all the people of God, I look forward to a lifelong learning process to be the servant that God wanted me to be.

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