CLIFTON Bishop Serratelli ordained 10 diocesan seminarians to the transitional diaconate May 8 in St. Philip the Apostle Church here, which brought the men a step closer to the priesthood.
During the Celebration of Ordination to the Order of Deacon, steeped in the rich traditions of the early Church, Bishop Serratelli ordained the following men as transitional deacons: Rev. Mr. Dominik Bakowski, Rev. Mr. Marcin Bradtke, Rev. Mr. Przemyslaw Karol Gawlik, Rev. Mr. Krzysztof Piotr Liwarski, Rev. Mr. Michal Jan Szwarc, Rev. Mr. Slawomir Tomaszewski, Rev. Mr. Artur Zaba and Rev. Mr. Dawid Zajecki, all from Poland, and Rev. Mr. Jeider Smith Barraza Jimenez and Rev. Mr. Duberney Villamizar Gonzalez, both from Colombia. He was the main celebrant and homilist of the Mass with numerous priests as concelebrants before a standing-room-only throng in St. Philip’s.
All 10 men received the Holy Spirit, during the rite with Bishop Serratelli, who anticipates ordaining the seminarians to priesthood next year were prayers, hymns and readings in English during the Celebration of Ordination to the Order of Deacon.
Near the beginning of the ordination, Father Hubert Jurjewicz, diocesan vocations director, asked the bishop to ordain the candidates for the diaconate. Then, the bishop asked about their worthiness. Father Jurjewicz replied, “After inquiry among the Christian people and upon the recommendation of those responsible, I testify that they have been found worthy.” After accepting them, the bishop asked for the approval of the assembly, which it enthusiastically granted with its applause.
Bishop Serratelli listed a deacon’s responsibilities: to proclaim the Gospel, to dispense the Eucharist, to give instruction in holy doctrine, to prepare the Holy Sacrifice and to preside over Baptisms, marriages, funerals and public prayer. A deacon also carries out acts of charity in name of bishop or pastor, he said.
Then, during the ordination, each candidate stood before the Bishop Serratelli, who questioned him on the Office of Deacon. Each candidate declared his intention to be ordained to the diaconate and to fulfill its duties. They each knelt before the bishop and placed his hands between his, promising obedience and respect to him and to his successors.
After, the candidates prostrated themselves before the altar, symbolizing their humility and dependence on God’s grace. The bishop invited the assembly to join in praying the Litany of the Saints to ask God to bless the candidates.
In keeping with the practice of the Apostolic Church, Bishop Serratelli laid his hands on the head of each candidate to signify the conferral of the Holy Spirit and the commission to service. He asked God to dedicate these men to the service of the Church and to renew the spirit of holiness within them.
“Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift for your grace for the faithful carrying out of the work of the ministry,” the bishop said. “Look with favor on these servants of yours, who minister at your holy altar and whom we humbly dedicate to the Office of Deacon.”
Then, invited priests helped the deacons put on their stoles and then a dalmatics, before Bishop Serratelli handed the Book of the Gospels to the candidates. He told them, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.” After, the bishop and other deacons gave the newly ordained the fraternal sign of peace, welcoming them into the Order of Deacon.
In his closing remarks, Bishop Serratelli offered a prayer for the newly ordained transitional deacons and thanked those who supported the new deacons.
A broad congregation of well-wishers, including family, friends, priests and religious of the diocese, members of parishes where the seminarians have served and other supporters, attended the ordination as a sign of encouragement to the new transitional deacons.