Six men were ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese of Brooklyn at St. James Cathedral Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn, on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated the rite of ordination for seminarians Dwayne Davis, Raymond Flores, Stephen Giulietti, Paul Kim, Killick Pierrilus and Lucon Rigaud. All are scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood next June.
Similar ceremonies were conducted in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Centre last weekend. The Brooklyn Diocese has traditionally held transitional diaconate ordinations on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, diocesan patroness, but under the new seminary system, the date was moved up so all three dioceses could maintain similar schedules.
Auxiliary Bishops Octavio Cisneros, Raymond Chappetto and Paul Sanchez and retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq concelebrated the 2 p.m. Mass, which drew dozens of priests, permanent deacons and seminarians, including Jun Hee Lee, who will be ordained a transitional deacon in Rome this October.
Also present were newly ordained transitional Deacons Christopher Heanue and Michel Pierre Louis, both of whom are preparing at other major seminaries for priestly ordination next spring.
Enthusiasm was palpable as the ordinands processed into the cathedral basilica and sat in the front rows with family and friends.
Following readings in Korean, Thelen, rector of Cathedral Seminary Residence, Douglaston, called forth the candidates from the pews. Bishop DiMarzio approved them, and the standing-room-only crowd expressed its consent with applause.
Addressing the candidates, the bishop spoke about the Holy Order of Deacon and the ministry to which they are called.
He held up St. Gregory the Great as a model for the men because he served as pope during one of the most difficult times in the history of the Church. His ability to balance faith and culture, the bishop explained, enabled the Church to pass through the Dark Ages.
Bishop DiMarzio told candidates that in this “age of de-Christianization,” it is their responsibility to bear knowledge of what is “right and true” to the today’s world.
Their freely accepted commitment to priestly celibacy is both a sign of their pastoral charity and a source of personal spiritual fruitfulness, explained the bishop.
Humility, Freedom, Joy
Referencing the wisdom of Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, the bishop encouraged the men to live the gift of priestly celibacy with humility, freedom and joy.
“Cling to Christ with an undivided heart,” he instructed the men before calling them to lay prostrate in front of the altar for the litany of supplication.
Each man stood and presented himself before the bishop for the laying on of hands and prayer of ordination. The newly ordained were vested with their stoles and dalmatics and received the Book of Gospels.
The new deacons received the kiss of peace from Bishop DiMarzio, followed by all deacons present.
Deacons Paul Kim and Dwayne Davis then took their places on either side of Bishop DiMarzio, where they served as Deacon of the Altar and Deacon of the Word, respectively.
Before the final blessing, the bishop enjoyed satisfying the curiosity of the new deacons by announcing their parish assignments for the next year (see Page 4) and presenting them to their new pastors.
Members of the congregation applauded the newly ordained and had the opportunity to personally congratulate them outside the cathedral basilica. Amid those gathered were members of Deacon Davis’ home parish, St. Joseph’s, Jamaica; Deacon Flores parish, St. Ann’s, Flushing; and Deacon Rigaud’s parish, Holy Innocents, Flatbush. Deacon Perrilus’ friends from Haiti offered joyful hugs and handshakes.
A lush garland of red roses was placed around the neck of Deacon Paul Kim by relatives and Korean-American friends from his home parish, St. Paul Ha-Sang, Flushing, who rejoiced in his commitment to the Church.
“I feel very proud of him,” shared Daniel Kim, Deacon Paul’s younger brother. “He’s always been a good brother, very compassionate to me. I know that everything he’s done for me, he’s going to do for everyone else.”
Gloria Oh from St. Robert Bellarmine, Bayside, was thrilled to hear that Deacon Kim will serve his diaconate year at her parish.
“I’m so very excited,” she said. “He will be one of the priests for our (Korean-American) community, and we need bilingual priests.”
Reflecting on the ceremony, Deacon Kim said, “It was very emotional to share this moment with my classmates. Through the grace of God we made it thus far.”
In the coming year, he looks forward to working with Msgr. Martin Geraghty, pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine, and serving the Korean- and English-speaking communities in Bayside.
Meanwhile, Italian speakers in Bensonhurst will rejoice in the presence of Deacon Stephen Giulietti, who has been assigned to Regina Pacis, where he hopes to be involved in youth ministry and vocation outreach.
Following the ordination ceremony, Deacon Giulietti said he felt “overwhelmed, but strangely comfortable.”
“Laying down on the marble, we couldn’t see anyone, but we could hear everyone praying for us,” he said. “When I stood up, I felt so much peace.”
His parents, Joanne and Frank, and sister, Theresa, were among the voices he heard praying for him.
“I feel proud,” shared Joanne Giulietti. “It’s been a long road.”
She’s excited that her son will serve his diaconate year at the parish where her parents were married.
But what’s even more exciting for the Giulietti family is that Deacon Stephen will officiate at his sister’s wedding in their home parish of Our Lady of the Snows, North Floral Park, next April.