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​Archdiocesan seminarian, Capuchin Franciscan ordained to transitional diaconate

September 23, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Archbishop, Vocations

Archdiocesan seminarian, Capuchin Franciscan ordained to transitional diaconate

Following gracious pastoral care in formation, Michael Andrew Coronado and Alejandro Diaz, OFM Cap., were ordained as transitional deacons by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, at a liturgy at San Fernando Cathedral on September 11.

The archbishop began his remarks by recalling how Catholic Charities had recently announced that Afghan refugee families would be coming to the city over the next year, and that resources are needed to house and feed over 800 adults and children and help them begin a new life for themselves after escaping decades of violence and poverty.

“We are being called on to welcome them and help them in any way we can. We can share resources and donations to support them,” Archbishop Gustavo said, adding, “However, the most important gift we could give them now is simply peace, a peace they have rarely if ever experienced, a peace we can share in Christ. Regardless of their religious background, peace is universal and is the wish they so desperately have now. That peace is within us. It is a gift from God to give others.”

This related to the Gospel reading from Luke at the ordination liturgy, in which Jesus sends out his disciples to announce a new world, a new covenant among the people. Their main gift to others was peace, the peace of the risen Lord, the peace only Jesus can give.

“It is clear that Jesus wants those he sends to take nothing with them. The idea of Jesus seems to be you go as a vulnerable person, completely dependent on God first and then on the hospitality and care of others. In effect, the missionary must be one who is receiving as much as giving,” explained the archbishop. “This is so important for anyone who wants to be in ministry. It is important for you being ordained. Always remember the people have as much or even more to give you than you have to give them.”

He continued “Jesus is sending disciples to proclaim the Good News but also to understand that it is in the exchange of gifts that the good news happens. It is not all a one-way action. The one who proclaims, the one who ministers, also receives so much. In a real way, the disciple who proclaims and who ministers mirrors the crucified one, who is stripped on the cross, who has nothing, yet in that very act of complete giving of self is the Good News.”

The San Antonio prelate lamented how, in this country, we often define ourselves on where we live and what we have, while the disciples only take one thing: peace is their only possession. “Why peace?” he asked, responding, “It is a sign of the Kingdom, a sign of perfect unity and harmony with God. That same peace is offered to humanity at the creation of the world. Jesus comes to restore the perfect peace and harmony lost at Eden. Peace was the first post-Resurrection gift of Jesus. Peace comes from the restored relationship with God.”

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit emphasized to the two ordinands, “Don’t procrastinate! The mission is urgent! Accept whatever generosity and hospitality is given. Have confidence you do God’s work and God will provide what you need.”

The Gospel from Luke 10: 1-9, also spoke of a Kingdom at hand. “The harvest is great, which means the possibilities are enormous for doing good. The kind of harvest Jesus speaks about is to heal, cure, spread peace, announce the Good News,” Archbishop Gustavo told listeners who filled the cathedral sanctuary. “God’s harvest is measured by goodness, care for others and growth toward new life. Abundance is not by what we have but by the quality of our relationships.”

In closing the archbishop asked the faithful, “What are the keys to being a disciple, to helping establish the Kingdom of God?” He answered, “Don’t worry about things, be satisfied with what you have, when rejected don’t lash back but simply move on, and your main goal in life is to be a messenger of peace, the peace of Christ. Others can live their lives suspicious, denigrating others, dividing, judging, and you nevertheless must do your part to help conquer the demons of hate, prejudice, selfishness and division. That is being a missionary.”

Archbishop Gustavo concluded by telling the duo, “May this day of ordination bring you happiness and confidence that God will accomplish in you the good work you begin now.”

During the ordination rite, Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak presented the candidates to the archbishop. At the Promise of the Elect, the archbishop questioned the men. Then, each knelt before him and placed his hands between those of Archbishop Gustavo, to whom they promised obedience. This was followed by the Litany of Supplication.

Afterwards, the elect rose and each knelt before the archbishop, and in silence, he placed his hands upon the head of each of them and then, with hands outstretched, pronounced the Prayer of Ordination.

The newly ordained received their stole and dalmatic. Vested as deacons, Coronado and Diaz again knelt before the archbishop and he placed the book of Gospels in the hands of each one and pronounced the exhortation. Lastly, Archbishop Gustavo gave each of the newly ordained the fraternal kiss, and likewise, all deacons present gave the fraternal kiss to each of the newly ordained.

The liturgy was livestreamed on archdiocesan social media platforms.