Ordination update: 14 new deacons for Los Angeles

The story, from The Tidings:

“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read; teach what you believe; practice what you teach,” Archbishop José Gomez told 15 deacons ordained June 9 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, as he handed to each of them the Book of the Gospels during the rite of ordination.

The newly ordained deacons include Robert Ashe (Blessed Kateri Church, Santa Clarita), Ron Baker (Holy Family, Glendale), Joseph Bernal (St. Francis Xavier, Pico Rivera), Peter Brause (St. Louise de Marillac, Covina), James Carper (St. Peter Claver, Simi Valley), Victor Cruz (St. Albert the Great, West Rancho Dominguez), Gregory Halamicek (Sacred Heart, Lancaster), Philip Luevanos (St. Dorothy, Glendora), Michael Morgan (St. Ambrose, West Hollywood), Thien Pham (St. Lucy, Long Beach), Dominic Pontrelli (Incarnation, Glendale), Jorge Ramos (St. Anthony, Long Beach), Jose Rodriguez (St. Louise of France, La Puente), Fausto Sanchez (St. Andrew, Pasadena), and Andrew Bartus (Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter).

With more than 3,000 in attendance, Archbishop Gomez described the day as one of “joy, gran alegría” for the archdiocese and on several occasions commended the wives for helping their husbands in the process.

For married aspiring deacons, the five-year diaconate formation requires that the wives approve their entrance to the archdiocesan program and that they attend classes with their husbands as well. Although they are not ordained, they receive a certificate from the archbishop and they often work side-by-side with their husband in parish ministries.

This year’s class was named after renowned social justice activist Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker movement in the 1930s to help the poor and homeless. Fittingly, the deacons were called by Archbishop Gomez to follow Day’s example — to be “ministers of the Lord doing charity and service to all the people of God.

“What a beautiful gift the Lord has given to you,” the archbishop told the attentive deacons sitting to his right. “Stay close by Him, in service of God to His people.”

Citing St. John’s Gospel regarding how God chooses his servants, the archbishop also stressed the “close relationship” between deacons, bishops and priests. He invited the deacons to “contemplate the face of Jesus, to know Him and imitate His life and to bear fruits of love for His plan of salvation.

“Love is the whole meaning of your vocation,” Archbishop Gomez said. “Love is the gift of your whole life.”

There’s much more at the link, including a slide show.   Below, a moment from the ordination (one that I’ve never heard of being done elsewhere, and may well be unique to Los Angeles):  the newly ordained deacon, after receiving the book of the gospels, passes it on to his wife.

Photos by Victor Aleman

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