What an amazing shot: the largest clerical ordination in the nine-year history of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Photo by Mike Nelson of The Tidings.
That’s from the recent ordination of 48 men as deacons for the Santa Barbara region of Los Angeles.
“This is a day of grace and joy for you, my brothers, and for all of your families,” the archbishop said with a smile as he looked upon the assembly filled with friends and parishioners of the new deacons, as well as their families and some 50 priests, 40 fellow deacons and Auxiliary Bishops Thomas Curry, Gerald Wilkerson and Oscar Solis.
The deacons (one is single) and their wives have journeyed for nearly five years in their formation process. It is the second large diaconate group from the region; 60 were ordained in June 2007 at Santa Barbara City College.
In June, 14 men were ordained to the permanent diaconate from parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. There are now some 350 permanent deacons serving in the archdiocese, the largest number since the restoration of the permanent diaconate by the Second Vatican Council; the first class of 25 deacons for Los Angeles was ordained in 1975.
“All of us in our Christian lives are entrusted with a mission to serve our brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Gomez noted in his homily. “Each of us is called to take Jesus as our model and to imitate him by serving the Church and all mankind. However, you who are to be ordained to the permanent diaconate are called by God and set apart to a divinely instituted ministry of service in his Church.”
Citing the day’s Gospel reading from St. John (“I no longer call you slaves, but friends”), the archbishop encouraged the new deacons to “enter deeply” into a friendship with Jesus Christ, who “welcomes you to sacramental ministry in his Church — not as servants, but as friends. I pray that you will accept this beautiful gift of his friendship and let it shape your identity as deacons and let it set the program for your ministries.”
Read more. There’s also a great slide show of other Mike Nelson pictures at the link.
Ad multos annos, gentlemen! Congratulations!