Life in Abundance: Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate
“I have come to give you life and life in abundance.” ~John 10:10
Each year, during springtime, these words of Jesus to His disciples take on even greater meaning and joy for each of us. Everywhere we look, there is new life! Yes, the weeks after Easter heading towards Pentecost are marked with Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, high school and college graduations, weddings and joyful anniversaries. New life all around us!
In the midst of this, on Saturday, May 19th, His Excellency, Bishop Barry Knestout, will ordain five of our diocesan seminarians to the Transitional Diaconate at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia–Tochi Iwuji, Chris Masla, Dan Molochko, Kyle O’Connor, and Cassidy Stinson. After years of philosophical, theological and pastoral training and with the support of spiritual directors, mentors, the seminary community, pastors, parishes, and their own families, these men have been called to the Order of Deacons by our bishop.
Soon, after their ordination and as they continue in their formation towards priesthood, they will proclaim the Gospel at Mass, baptize babies in their parish assignments, preside at funeral services, and bring Holy Communion to the sick and homebound. They will do all of this with a renewed spirit of humility and service in the Lord!
In a special way, I remember my own diaconate ordination nearly 13 years ago and the joy of serving the altar for the very first time at my home parish of Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke. I even had the privilege of baptizing a recently newborn baby that very same day. New life in Christ and in the Church!
Having witnessed these wonderful seminarians grow each year in the virtues of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity, it will be an amazing blessing to witness their definitive yes to the Lord, to the Church, and to our Diocese – and to take up the humble and joyful service as a minister of the gospel and of charity.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen these men in their new ministry and support each of them in the months and years ahead and may God who has begun the good work in them bring it to fulfillment.