The Church asks those who are to be ordained and those who take an office of leadership to take an Oath of Fidelity. Pope John Paul II outlined the Church’s expectations her ministers in a 1998 motu proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem, and concretely expressed in the “Profession of Faith and The Oath of Fidelity on Assuming An Office to be Exercised in the Name of the Church.”
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s commentary notes that the Church’s profession of faith has been received by the faithful, ordained and laity, as a line of continuity of what is authentically believed about the Blessed Trinity and the Church’s share in the life of the Trinity through the ages. The profession of faith and the propositions contained therein are testimonies of the Christian faith handed down through the millennia.
Essentially, the deacons who made their profession of faith and the oath of office tonight are witnesses of the truth of the resurrection of Christ not only as baptized Christians but very soon to be more closely connected to the work of Christ with their souls changed at the deepest part and recognized in heaven by the laying on of hands and the prayer of the bishop, as priests. The mandate of the profession and the oath recognizes that these deacons are called to serve humanity enlightened by Christ as missionaries of Christ to the City and the world for the express purpose of growth and life in Christ. Further, taking the oath tells us that they no longer teach their own word but THE Word, Jesus Christ.
Acknowledged this evening is the life-long desire to conform life to Christ crucified and risen guided by the teaching of the Church.All this is made possible by listening attentively to the Word of God and to tasting Him in the Eucharist, thus satisfying the sure yearnings of the human heart.
Here they begin to be more and more serious in preparing to make an account of the hope that they have known.
We are grateful for the photos taken by Esteban Sanchez, a second year theologian at Saint Joseph’s Seminary.