Ordination Update: 18 New Deacons for Brooklyn

Ordination Update: 18 New Deacons for Brooklyn May 25, 2019

Check out the video from NET:

The press release:

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will ordain 18 men to the Permanent Diaconate, and one Transitional Deacon, for service in the Diocese of Brooklyn this Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph’s located at 856 Pacific Street in Brooklyn.

Those to be ordained include:

Joseph C. Chu, St. Anastasia, Douglaston

Francis Cuffie, Holy Cross, Brooklyn

Gerard Joseph Devine, Holy Name, Brooklyn

Michael Brian Fogarty, St. Fidelis, College Point

Amerito Catiwalaan Gerodias, Most Precious Blood, Astoria

James John Giorgio, Resurrection, Brooklyn

Francisco González Calderón, St. Mark, Brooklyn

John Charles Hardy Resurrection, Brooklyn

Anwar Iqbal, St. Rose of Lima, Brooklyn

Gilberto Laboy, Our Lady of the Cenacle, Richmond Hill

Andrzej Lewandowski, Transfiguration-Stanislaus Kostka, Maspeth

Giovanni Messina, St. Francis of Assisi, Astoria

Hugo Antonio Morel, Sts. Peter and Paul, Brooklyn

Rachid Murad, Holy Trinity, Whitestone

Alfredo Rendón, Immaculate Conception, Astoria

Danny Rodriguez Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Brooklyn

Phillip Rodriguez, St. Martin of Tours, Brooklyn

Bill Velasquez St. Mary Gate of Heaven, Queens

Peter Y. Okajima, Studying at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary

(Transitional Deacon)

Meantime, my bishop wrote about the diaconate in his weekly newspaper column: 

Our diocese has always emphasized the team approach between those married deacons and their wives to make sure that the ministry they undertake is something that will strengthen their families and not weaken them. Both must be in concert regarding the ministry of a deacon. Although we do not accept candidates, nor will we ordain candidates, until they reach the age of 35 and have fulfilled most of their family responsibilities for young children, we recognize that the team approach works best for all concerned.

The deacons in the Diocese of Brooklyn are ordained primarily for the service aspect of the Diaconal Order. They are sent to serve God’s people. Each does this not only by participating in the Liturgy and administering the sacraments of baptism and marriage that are proper to them, but also engaging in other areas of service to God’s people. These areas of service include, but are not exclusive to, feeding of the poor, assisting those who are in prison, guiding and teaching new converts to the faith, as well as assisting in confirmation programs.

The ministry of a deacon usually follows their own gifts and talents, as each does what comes naturally to them. We generally insist that someone who is applying to the diaconate program has already been involved in some type of ministry in their parish, especially the ministry of service. These candidates already know what this diaconal call is all about and are confirmed in that service by their ordination.

Before I ordain the candidates for the Permanent Diaconate, I have the opportunity to have an interview with them, and their wives if they are married. This time gives me a better insight into their relationship with each other and also what they wish to accomplish as deacon and wife together. In assigning the deacon, it is important that I know some of the characteristics and some of the desire that they have for their ministry.

In the past, we have been very successful in matching deacons either to a special ministry at another parish or even remaining in their home parish if there is sufficient work for them. Some parishes have more than one deacon, while some have none. So, we do our best to “share the wealth” you might say by matching Permanent Deacons to where they are most needed in Brooklyn and Queens.

The application for the Permanent Diaconate program is coordinated by the Diaconate Office under the direction of Deacon Jorge Gonzalez, and their assignment is handled by the Office of Clergy Personnel, under the direction of Deacon Julio Barreneche. These two deacons help manage the good works of the deacon for the Office of the Bishop.

Whenever a man and his wife put out into the deep seeking Ordination as a Permanent Deacon, they take a big step which builds on the first sacrament that they share, the sacrament of marriage, and adds to it the sacrament of holy orders. This is a unique relationship which they build upon in these two sacraments, one of which they share and the other in which they help each other in a life of service. I ask you to join me in praying for these new Permanent Deacons and their wives that they may fulfill the ministry to which they are called in the service to the people of Brooklyn and Queens.

Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos! 


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