The 13 men who were ordained as permanent deacons for the diocese May 11 were reminded by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., that their vocation is primarily one of service to the Church through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
“This morning we come together, the community of faith that is the Diocese of Trenton, to meet the needs of the Church through the ordination of 13 deacons, men of great faith who in their lives have discerned God’s call in the Church, who have studied and prepared themselves and who now offer themselves to me, as Bishop — a successor to the Apostles — for ordination to ministry in the Church in a permanent, enduring way,” said Bishop O’Connell.
Extending his appreciation to the 13 candidates, the bishop told them that they “join the ranks of many men like you who have assumed the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ, “I have come to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:45).”
“For the gift you are and for all the gifts you bring to share, I thank you and the entire diocese thanks you.”
In a liturgy filled with rich symbolism and ancient ritual, the 2013 class of candidates entered St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. Before a capacity congregation of family, friends, and well-wishers, Bishop O’Connell ordained: Robert J. Bednarek, Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton; Richard K. Benner, Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, Riverside; David Colter, St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton; Louis S. Esposito, St. Veronica Parish, Howell; Michael Lee Foster, St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan; James V. Gallagher, St. Mary Parish, Colts Neck; Bernard J. Kane III, St. Dominic Parish, Brick; Thomas J. Knowles, St. John Neumann Parish, Mount Laurel; Matthew P. Nicosia, St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan; Robert B. Pladek, St. Luke Parish, Toms River; Charles D. Raylman III, St. Ann Parish, Browns Mills; Richard Gerard Roenbeck, St. Gabriel Parish, Marlboro; Ronald Victor Schwoebel, Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township.
From the selection of music sung by the Diocesan Festival Choir to the readings proclaimed and the instructions from Bishop O’Connell, the theme of being chosen by God and called to serve resonated throughout the ordination Mass.
Congratulations and welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!
Photos by Jeff Metzner, Trenton Monitor. View full photo gallery here.