September 5, 2011
Rev. Mr. Thomas C. Gibbons, CSP (right); Rev. Mr. Richard R. Andre, CSP; Most Rev. Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, D.C.; and Rev. Mr. Rene I. Constanza, CSP, pose for a photo after Bishop Holley ordined the three Paulists to the transitional deaconate Sept. 3 n the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The three Paulists also made their final promise in the Paulist community Sept. 2 at St. Vincent Chapel at The Catholic University of America. (Photo credit: Bruce Byers, brucebyers.com) ENLARGE PHOTO | START SLIDESHOW
Three Paulists took the final two steps before reaching their ultimate goal of priestly ordination in the community. Richard R. Andre, CSP, Rene I. Constanza, CSP, and Thomas C. Gibbons, CSP, made their final promise – pledging a lifetime of service with the Paulist Fathers – before their Paulist brothers, family and friends Sept. 2 at St. Vincent Chapel at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The next morning, they joined two members of the Order of Friars Minor as they were ordained to the diaconate by Most Rev. Martin D. Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington D.C., in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Paulist President Father Michael B. McGarry called each man by name to stand before the congregation and pronounce his final promise to the Paulist Fathers. There were smiles, tears of joy and thundering applause from those gathered as they watched the next generation of Paulists begin their final journey to ordination.
“Things change,” said Father McGarry during the homily. “This is not the same community I joined years ago. You will change us. You will make us a better community. You will advance our mission. Whether you are renewing your vow for one year today or making a vow for a lifetime, it is about loving people and carrying out the mission of Jesus Christ through our church.”
Handshakes, hugs and words of support and congratulations were abundant following the Mass, after which the celebration continued with a dinner at St. Paul’s College, the Paulist house of formation in Washington, D.C.
Excitement and expectation lingered in the air the next morning like the wafts of incense that led the procession for Mass the next morning.
Father McGarry presented the ordinandi to Bishop Holley as suitable candidates for the diaconate. After the homily, the ordinandi made a commitment to celibacy and then answered “I am” to five questions posed by Bishop Holley as their examination. Each ordinand then presented himself to the bishop, placing their hands in his as they recited a promise of respect and obedience to the diocesan bishop wherever they serve.
The Litany of Saints was then prayed as the ordinandi lay prostrate before the altar. Bishop Holley then laid hands on each kneeling candidate’s head, and then recited the Prayer of Consecration.
Each ordinand was then invested with the stole and dalmatic, the symbols of the office of deacon. Each new deacon was then presented with the Book of Gospels, as a symbol that the office of deacon is closely associated with the proclaiming and preaching of the Good News. Bishop Holley then greeted each ordinand with a Kiss of Peace before the Liturgy of the Eucharist commenced.
Want to know more about the new Paulist deacons? Log on to Paulist.org next Monday!