You read that right: 42.
When NASA engineer Charles Pitman was furloughed again for the third time by recent federal government measures during his six-year diaconate formation, he kept working on becoming a deacon, never letting up on his daily prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours. On Feb. 22, his prayers were answered when he was ordained along with 19 other men. Then the next morning, on Feb. 23, Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz celebrated all over again, along with Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza, with another group of 22 newly ordained deacons.
For the class of 2019, a total of 42 men were ordained to the permanent diaconate, one of the largest classes locally out of the 156 men and their wives currently in formation at St. Mary’s Seminary, said Deacon Phillip Jackson, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of the Permanent Diaconate.
“What a joy and blessing that we have so many new deacons to ordain that we had to do it twice,” Bishop Sheltz said of the holy orders.
The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston hosted both ordinations with crowds of family and friends filling up almost to capacity with about 1,200 people each time.
“You are a sacramental sign of Christ’s friendship,” Bishop Sheltz said in his homily. “Remain as an inner conduit for the grace to serve as Jesus did, generous and lovingly.”
Read more and see the pictures here.
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!