DIACONATE CEREMONY TO INCORPORATE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC PRECAUTIONS
Garden Grove, Calif., (JUNE 25, 2020) – Three men will be ordained deacons for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange beginning at 10 a.m. this Saturday, June 27 at the Mission Basilica at San Juan Capistrano (31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano). Bishop Kevin Vann will be the ordaining prelate, and the ceremony will accommodate a number of safety precautions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those present at the invitation-only event will be Auxiliary Bishops Timothy Freyer and Thanh Thai Nguyen, as well as family and friends of those to be ordained. The celebration will be livestreamed on the Mission Basilica’s website at www.missionparish.org.
The Class of 2020 Diocese of Orange Diaconate candidates are:
- Cheeyoon Chun, Korean Martyrs Catholic Center, Westminster
- Michael Fitzpatrick, St. Martin de Porres Church, Yorba Linda
- Brandon Lopez, St. Pius V Church, Buena Park
“The trio will receive the sacrament of Holy Order, marking the final phase in their journey to becoming priests,” said Lesa Truxaw, the diocesan director of the Office for Worship.
The three men will have completed between six and eight years of seminary training and will return to the seminary at the end of the summer to conclude their final year of formation to the priesthood. It is implied that when a transitional deacon receives the sacrament of Holy Order, he will be moving forward into priesthood and makes the promise of celibacy, while permanent deacons, who can be married with families, do not. Except for the three candidates, there are currently no transitional deacons serving in the diocese currently. Permanent deacons – men who most often are married with families and have discerned a vocation to the diaconate – number about 140 throughout the Diocese of Orange.
The ordination, which takes place in the context of Mass, includes the laying on of hands, which is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith and tradition; a series of promises, including to obey and respect the bishop; and the recitation of the Litany of the Saints;
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, candidates will wear masks during the ceremony. The bishop will have his hands sanitized before laying on hands to each candidate, guests will be spaced from one another, and the church will be cleaned thoroughly before and afterwards.
No reception will follow the ordination, Truxaw noted, and the first blessings of the ordained to the faithful will occur at a later date. “We are very conscious of protecting people’s health.”
Many people including Catholics know little about the lives, training, and calling of deacons. The diaconate has grown rapidly in the United States and more than 17,000 deacons serve nationwide.
The Order of Deacon was instituted by the apostles. Seven men were initially chosen, and hands were laid on them so that they could carry on in the name of the apostles the ministry to widows in need. The ministry assigned to deacons grew to include others in need, administration of temporal affairs of the Church, preaching, and performing certain sacramental ministries.
After several hundred years, the Order of Deacon disappeared in the Western Church. It was restored as a permanent, public ministry in the Roman Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council and the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the U.S. was authorized in 1968.
About the Diocese of Orange
With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, 5 Catholic centers, and 41 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese encourages Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Diocese, was dedicated in July 2019. Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at www.rcbo.org.
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