The ordinands lie prostrate in front of the altar during the singing of the Litany of the Saints. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
SOUTH END -- Cardinal Seán O'Malley ordained seven transitional deacons in the presence of family, friends, seminarians, clergy, and religious during a Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Jan. 9.
"Today it is a great joy to impose hands on the seven men of good repute, just as the Apostles did 2,000 years ago... We express our gratitude to their families and friends and all of those who have supported them in their vocational journey," the cardinal said in his homily.
Deacons Chris Woongjin Bae, Matthew Conley, Patrick Fiorillo, J. Thomas Gignac, Stephen LeBlanc, Huan Dominic Ngo, and Thomas Sullivan were ordained at the Mass, taking their last major step toward ordination to the priesthood.
"These seven will be joined by two of their classmates who are already deacons as they reassemble here in the cathedral in a few short months for priestly ordination," said Cardinal O'Malley.
The rite of ordination began during the Liturgy of the Word, when the candidates were presented to Cardinal O'Malley after the Gospel reading and he elected them for ordination to the diaconate.
The deacon, from the Greek word "diakonos," meaning servant or minister, is the first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church. Among the many functions they perform in parishes, deacons may preside at baptisms, weddings, and rites of Christian burial, as well as aid the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel, and deliver homilies.