Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and the Kingdom is in His Hand, and power, and dominion. Give to the king Thy judgment, O God: and to the king's Son Thy justice. (Epiphany entrance Antiphon)
Saint John Chrysostom teaches us that, "If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God."
The Feast of the Epiphany is a terrific day to manifest the Lord's entrance into our history with an ordination. The Diocese of Bridgeport, indeed the entire Church, rejoices today in calling another man to ordained service as a deacon. But what do deacons do in the Catholic Church? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop (1596).
Today, Bishop Lori ordained to the Order of Deacon Jaime de Jesus Marin Cardona, 41, at Saint Charles Borromeo Church (Bridgeport, CT). Deacon Marin is a native of Columbia where he did his seminary training. Here in the US, Deacon Jaime did some studies at Saint John Fisher Seminary (Stamford, CT) and Holy Apostles Seminary (Cromwell, CT).
During the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon Bishop Lori prayed:
Almighty God . . . You make the Church, Christ's body, grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple. You enrich it with every kind of grace and perfect it with a diversity of members to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity. You established a threefold ministry of worship and service, for the glory of your name. As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi and gave them your blessing as their everlasting inheritance.
More than a dozen priests and deacons concelebrated Mass with the Bishop--in Spanish--with a packed Church. A fair number of the diocesan seminarians were also in attendance, many of whom acted altar servers for the Liturgy. It was wonderful to see all the gathered faithful. Jaime drew together his family and friends from across the area to celebrate with him. The occasion afforded the Msgr. Patrick McGivney Council, the local council of the Knights of Columbus to observe their 10th anniversary in Saint Charles. The State KofC officers were present as was the 4th degree honor guard.
Since he's finished with studies, Deacon Jaime will serve in a parish for the next six months. In the exercise of his ministry, Deacon Jaime now "strengthened by sacramental grace... [is] dedicated to the People of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service (diakonia) of the liturgy, of the Gospel, and of works of charity" (CCC 1588).
We also rejoice at the ordination of another man for the Bridgeport Diocese. On December 12th, Bishop Lori by the laying on of hand and prayer, ordained Jeff Couture to the Order of Deacon at Holy Family Church (Fairfield, CT), a native son of that parish. The ordination took place at the Vigil Mass for Gaudete Sunday with lots of Jeff's family and friends present. Deacon Couture is a student at Mount Saint Mary Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD). He's been serving Holy Family Church for Christmastide and will return to the Mount to finish up prior to ordination.
On June 5, 2010, four men will be ordained to the presbyterate for the Diocese of Bridgeport. In addition to Deacons Jaime and Jeff, the deacons ordained this past May, Deacons Michael Novajoski and Karol Ksiazek will be made priests. In comparison to 2009 when six were made priests of Jesus Christ, 2010 is also a good year for our diocese in terms of ordinations. As of this writing, there will only be one ordained to the priesthood in 2011.
May Saints Stephen, Nicanor, Lawrence, Ephrem, Francis and all holy deacons, pray for us and for these men ordained for service in the Diocese of Bridgeport!