Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio ordained 27 men to the diaconate for the Diocese of Brooklyn at a Mass at Our Lady of Angels, Bay Ridge, on Saturday, May 28.
The new deacons recently completed a five-year program that included theological studies and spiritual exercises in preparation for ordination. They will serve the Church at parishes in Brooklyn and Queens. Several also received second assignments in another parish or a diocesan agency. (Their appointments begin on Page 4.)
“I am profoundly grateful to the 27 men,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “Their generosity and that of their wives and children is a wonderful expression of the vitality and new life present in our diocese.”
The deacons come from various backgrounds. Most are from Brooklyn and Queens, but almost a dozen are foreign-born, reflecting the diversity of the “Diocese of Immigrants.” Their native countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Trinidad.
They range in age from 40 to 74. Their occupations are as diverse as a taxi driver, a physical therapist, a retired corrections officer, engineer and a physician.
All pledged obedience to the Bishop of Brooklyn who presented each with the Book of the Gospels.
Brooklyn-born Carlos Garcia is a retired corrections officer who served with the New York Department of Corrections at Rikers Island for 17 years. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 19 years and have four children.
“One thing that kept my sanity during my time in corrections was my faith,” he said. “I always tried to bring the faith forward to the inmates that were there.”
A parishioner at St. Michael-St. Malachy, East New York, and director of the SS. Peter and Paul Spirituality Center, Garcia calls his journey to the diaconate, “God’s plan to bring me from hell to heaven.”