Last Saturday Bishop Dennis Sullivan ordained nine men into the office of the diaconate, ending one journey for them that began five years ago, and beginning another, to bring the liturgy, word and service to the Catholic faithful throughout the Diocese of Camden.
The liturgy and Rite of Ordination was celebrated the morning of May 2 at Mary, Mother of Mercy Parish in Glassboro. The ordained are:
— Frank Campisi, 50 years old, from Our Lady of Peace, Williamstown;
— Peter Davidson, 63, St. Brendan the Navigator, Avalon;
— Frank Dunleavy, 50, Infant Jesus, Woodbury Heights;
— Fernando Encarnado, 54, Our Lady of Hope, Blackwood;
— Thomas Fargnoli, 62, Our Lady of Hope;
— Kevin Hannon, 65, Holy Angels, Woodbury;
— Robert Iuliucci, 56, Christ the Redeemer, Atco;
— Robert Scarpa, 62, St. Thomas More, Cherry Hill; and
— Aaron Smith, 36, Christ the Redeemer.
For five years, these nine men have prepared for the diaconate ministry with classes on theology, sacred Scripture, canon law, homiletics, ecumenism, church history and other studies. In addition, the men have completed assignments in parish ministries, hospital chaplaincy, marriage preparation, preaching and various departments of Catholic Charities.
In front of family, friends and clergy of the diocese, the diocesan Director of Formation for the Diaconate, Deacon Michael Carter, presented the candidates on May 2 to Bishop Sullivan, affirming their worthiness and requesting their ordination. The bishop instructed the candidates of their duties as deacon, and the nine candidates then came forward, placed their hands in the bishop’s, and promised obedience to him, and his successors.
The men prostrated themselves in prayer. Next, in silence, Bishop Sullivan laid his hands on each one, ordaining him.
In a common practice, priests and deacons who have acted as mentors and guides for these nine men along their journey, vested each one with the stole and dalmatic, vestments which outwardly manifest their duties.
The presentation of the Book of the Gospels marked the newly-ordained’s role to proclaim the Good News in word and deed, and, finally, Bishop Sullivan’s fraternal kiss to each one sealed their admittance into the diaconate.
Soon, each deacon will be given their specific assignments, in accordance with diocesan and parish needs.