On Saturday, April 28, 2018, a historic number of men will be ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by Bishop Joseph Binzer at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral at the 11:00 am Mass. We will be celebrating the ordination of 9 men, a number not seen since 1979! The last class with more men being ordained was in 1973 when then-Archbishop Joseph Bernardin ordained 20 men to the priesthood. Additionally, this class is nearly a perfect microcosm of the entire people of the Archdiocese as three are from the Westside of Cincinnati (one from St. Joseph, North Bend and two from St. John Neumann) and two are from the Eastside (St. Gertrude, Madeira and St. Susanna, Mason); one is from Dayton (Emmanuel); one is from Springfield (St. Raphael); one is from Piqua (St. Mary) and one is from Champaign County (Sacred Heart, St. Paris). Two of these men, are originally from Africa, one was born in Spain, one is a convert to Catholicism, one was homeschooled, and all have found their way, through the grace of God, to offer all his life to serve the people of God as a deacon and eventually as a priest! We praise God for his great generosity and mercy as we celebrate this gift to the Archdiocese!
Join us now in praying a Novena for these men leading up to the day of their ordination!
As these men prepare to receive this sacrament and make the promises of celibacy, obedience and prayer, we asked them what thoughts they had as the day draws near. Here is what they said:
“After nearly 8 years of seminary, in many ways, the quickly approaching Diaconate Ordination feels very surreal. Everything thus far has been building to this first of, God willing, two ordinations and it is hard to believe that soon the Bishop will be laying his hands on my head and proclaiming the words of consecration. At the conclusion of the prayer, I will be able to and asked to serve the Church and the people of God in new ways–Baptize, witness Marriages, assist at Mass, and preach!”
– Jeff Stegbauer, St. Susanna, Mason
“Pope Benedict XVI said that the role of the deacon is to be a herald for Christ. I’m looking forward to becoming a true herald of the Lord and accepting His call to be a voice that proclaims His joy, mercy, and love to the people whom He has redeemed.“
– Andrew Hess, St. Mary’s, St. Paris
“Although I am excited about all of the aspects of diaconate ministry, one of the things I am looking forward to is to be able to preach on a regular basis at the parish. At the same time, the faculties I will have next year to preach and to serve are a strong reminder of the grave responsibility I am being entrusted with. Please pray for me and for all of my classmates as we begin our ordained ministry.”
– Christian Cone-Lombarte, Emmanuel, Dayton
“To be ordained a deacon is to be given a great responsibility to serve the people of God. I know there are many people out there who need to experience God’s presence and love in their lives and as a deacon, I am ready to offer myself at their service, guided by the Spirit of God.”
– Elias Mwesigye, St. John Neumann, Cincinnati
“I would describe this time of preparation for deacon as a joyful anxiety. The future is in God’s hands and it is unknown to us so there is some anxiety to be had. On the other hand I have been preparing for this for 6 years and it feels great to be ordained a deacon for Christ’s Church.”
– Mark Bredestege, St. Joseph, North Bend
“I really feel excited about the upcoming ordination. I am very happy that I will be ordained soon and be able to preach, serve at the Altar of the Lord and in other capacities, as circumstances will allow. Ordination is a great gift from God. However, from the human point of view there can be fear regarding whether one lives up to the demands of a noble vocation as such, to serve others unreservedly just as Christ served us. Knowing that I shall not be alone, that Christ, who has called me, unleashes his graces to me if I dispose myself to them by being faithful to his word and seeking his guidance through prayer, encourages me. Our God is a loving God and his love for me gives me impetus to move forward. I believe he will not leave me alone so long as I remain in him.”
– Alex Biryomumeisho, St. John Neumann, Cincinnati
“The reality of ordination is setting in, or at least starting to. I am definitely looking forward to preaching. We’ve had a lot of time to learn the teachings and ways of the Church, and I’m really excited to be able to share those things with the faithful. However, this ordination will mean literally giving my life away. I will be giving myself over to God for the service of the Church, totally, and irrevocably. This is definitely scary – the questions definitely start sounding loud in your mind. “What if this isn’t for me? What if I can’t really do this? Can I really give everything up?” But the love of Jesus Christ that I’ve known in my life, and the support of my brothers here confirm me. I am confident that God’s grace can work, even through my weakness.”
– Ambrose Dobroszi, St. Gertrude, Madeira
“This is my 7th year in seminary, so the idea that ordination is mere days away is absolutely surreal. More than anything, I’m thankful and humbled that Christ has called me—through the Archbishop—to serve Him as a cleric of the Church. And, that service begins in an official capacity with ordination to the Diaconate this month.”
– Jedidiah Tritle, St. Raphael, Springfield
“I am very excited for my ordination to the diaconate. In many I still cannot believe that the day is approaching so soon. I feel very blessed to have been given a very supportive family, who has always encouraged my vocation and I am extremely grateful for all the people I have met throughout my time in seminary. The prayers and support of so many has enabled me to persevere in my vocation and prepare well for ordination.”
– Zachary Cecil, St. Mary, Piqua
- Novena for Deacons: Day Six!
- Novena for Deacons: Day Five!
- Novena for Deacons: Day Four!
- Novena for Deacons: Day Three!
- Novena for Deacons: Day Two!
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