Monday, November 5, 2007

DAWNING HOPE

Being about six months away from the time of priesthood ordinations every diocese that will have men ordained this year have either already had or will very soon have ordinations to the transitional deaconate. A man must be a deacon for at least six months before he is ordained to the priesthood. Last night five good men were ordained to the transitional deaconate for the Diocese of Cleveland; Deacon Joseph Brankatelli, Deacon Stephen Flynn, Deacon Michael McCandless, Deacon Jared Orndorff, and Deacon Ed Suszynski. Please keep them and all who will soon to be ordained to the priesthood in your prayers.

This year marked a change for this diocese. Not only do we have a new bishop but we also have a new liturgist for the Diocese. I will admit that I went as much to see how different the liturgy would be as much as to see these fine men be ordained.

One of the most drastic changes was that the mass was held at the Cathedral. Deaconate ordination has been held at the seminary chapel in recent decades. It is a nice enough chapel but as you can imagine is rather small which always limited the number of people who could attend. Being held at the cathedral opened the event to the entire diocese (a bit late to let you know that now I suppose!)

The other change was the extensive employment of seminarians. Their fellow classmates (more of our future priests of the diocese) who used to minimally supplement the serving and music ministries now performed the ministries almost in their entireties. They also served as ushers at the doors.

Only toward the end of my stay at the seminary were seminarians given a place to sit en mass. We scattered about the cathedral for any of the events that took place, which unfortunately allowed some to have their view obstructed by the greater downtown area. Later there began to be a designated area for us to sit. Last night those participating in prayerful support sat and it was heartening to this priest, as theologically wonderful as having them spread out may be, to see all of the young men gathered who you hope will make it possible for you to semi-retire in your old age.

Many blessings upon all who are ordained to the transitional deaconate and may you soon be standing with your brother priests on the altar of God to offer the sacrifice of the mass.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was an inspirational event, although for a moment it appeared that these fine young men were almost ordained to the priesthood by mistake. The musical setting of the Litany of the Saints was not very good. There were a few goofs, but nothing to overshadow the drama of five new deacons being ordained. Most of the musical selections were not to my taste. "Lift High the Cross" was the best choice of the evening. It seemed like a prayerful liturgy.

Habemus Papam said...

I thought the liturgy was beautiful and really enjoyed watching the 5 men become deacons. I also enjoyed the changes the bishop made so the mass could be more inclusive and enjoyable for not only the seminarians but also the lay people. Watching the 5 of them stand up at the alter brought tears to my eyes and little did they know their committment also made me think further of my vocation in life. Unlike "anonymous" I really enjoyed the music, perhaps there is a soft spot in my heart for Matt Maher (who will be in Strongsville next weekend if anyone is interested in going let me know). And I was impressed with the psalm that Deacon Ed wrote! It was a blessed event and I felt so honored to have been there and even more honored to be Catholic. God bless our new deacons!

JustMe said...

I have thought there must be a gasp of wonder again and again that comes to all who are going to be consecrated to the Lord, but there must be a moment of one's utter inability to breathe when a man realizes he is going to be ordained into Christ's own priesthood. Oh, I can hardly imagine their wonder, joy-- and terror, yes.

I'm so thankful for them all, but I will write down these 5 names, now, and approach a certain Lady in a blue mantle about them.

uncle jim said...

I think the change to a larger venue will pay off in more people participating in the celebration. Glad the bishop, or someone on staff perhaps, had the idea.

JustMe said...

HP, I will keep you in my prayers for vocations, too. Adoro, too.

Grant said...

Ellen and I were there as well. They definitely all looked excited... Mike and Steve were both wearing these huge smiles the whole time.

Personally, I liked the Cathedral because it was cool to see so many people I knew... from TEC, youth groups, priests that used to belong to my parish. Couldn't fit a fraction of those people in the seminary chapel.

The ceremony was, overall, very cool to see. Yeah, some of the music was so-so (Lord of the Dance should be banned), but overall I got a sense of strong community
and commitment that made me appreciate our Catholic tradition.

I wonder how many Catholics never get to see a deaconate or priestly ordination.. or don't even know they exist!

MJ said...

HP where will Matt Maher be in Strongsville? We sing some of his music in our choir and I love it!!

Habemus Papam said...

The Matt Maher concert will be held on Nov 11th at St. John Neumann Church 16271 Pearl Road in Strongsville. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the parish office or online at mattmahertix@jtci.net or by calling 216-496-2889.

Anonymous said...

Fr. V - I have a married friend who would like to become a Deacon. (I'm not sure how to say this next part without sounding morbid) - He asked me if he would become a Deacon, if he could then become a Priest, if his wife dies (not that he wants her to die). I don't think there's a good way to ask that.

You mentioned transitional Deaconate in your blog, but I think these two things are different (?).

Advice?

Lillian Marie

Father Schnippel said...

JustMe wrote:

I have thought there must be a gasp of wonder again and again that comes to all who are going to be consecrated to the Lord, but there must be a moment of one's utter inability to breathe when a man realizes he is going to be ordained into Christ's own priesthood. Oh, I can hardly imagine their wonder, joy-- and terror, yes.

For me, it happened twice: during the Litany of Saints of each ordination. I am laying before the altar, dieing to self, and hearing the names of all those who have gone before us and earned the crown of salvation, and knowing that they are praying and rooting for me (and all of us) to get there, too. WOW! Afterwards, it was funny that each one of us ordained that day (eight total) heard different names clearly, as we picked out the names that had a special connection. For me, St. Eugene, first pope to exhort celibacy for his priests and also my grandfather's name and my middle name.

Lillian:
Not sure what the requirements are where you are, but call and ask for the Deacon Office, as they would be able to answer those questions, or have him talk to a permanent deacon in the parish. The Archbishop here in Cincinnati is clear that transitional deacons (on the way to priesthood) and permanent deacons (usually married men) are equal, and hence are ordained at the same time. (although the permanent guys are only every three years, transitionals are every year.)

Rob said...

Lilian Marie,

Technically any Catholic male, even a married man, can be ordained a priest. Whether it would be prudent to do so under the cicumstances you mention...

I ahve heard of a couple cases of this in the American Church. If you think about it, it really doesn't sound appropriate. He signed on to be a deacon, right? To ordain him to the priesthood after his wife's death would seem to say, "Well, now that she's gone..."

Of course, if there were great need for him to be a priest (the "shortage" and all) that might be used as an excuse. His having been married before is not an obstacle at all, canonically, anyway.

Rob said...

Lilian Marie,

Technically any Catholic male, even a married man, can be ordained a priest. Whether it would be prudent to do so under the cicumstances you mention...

I ahve heard of a couple cases of this in the American Church. If you think about it, it really doesn't sound appropriate. He signed on to be a deacon, right? To ordain him to the priesthood after his wife's death would seem to say, "Well, now that she's gone..."

Of course, if there were great need for him to be a priest (the "shortage" and all) that might be used as an excuse. His having been married before is not an obstacle at all, canonically, anyway.

Rob said...

What is the deal with my double posts? This is happening on every site!

Fr. V said...

Rob -

Rob -

I thought you were going insane.

I thought you were going insane.

Glad to know it is a computer glitch.

Glad to know it is a computer glitch.

L.M. - Everything that you read is correct EXCEPT THAT in the Diocese of Cleveland we are no longer accepting application to the deaconate. This year and next year there are no "freshman" classes. Our current bishop is attempting to bring the training "up to code" so to speek and that requires extensive tooling from end to end and so things are on hold until that process is finished.