BLOOMFIELD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair stressed that humility and service must be foremost in the minds of three new transitional deacons who were ordained Dec. 6 in the chapel at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary.
For Ricardo Emilio Borja Alcaraz and Ramon Israel Garcia, both of Colombia, and Elkin Mauricio Galvis Hurtado of Bristol, this was an important step closer in their journeys toward the priesthood, to which they hope to be ordained later this spring.
In his homily, Archbishop Blair referred to the day’s Gospel reading (Matthew 20:25b-28), in which Jesus says that anyone who wants to be great must be a servant, “just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”
The archbishop said, “Humility and service are essential elements of the diaconate to which Ricardo, Mauricio and Ramon are being ordained today.” He said it is a deacon’s role to help and serve the bishop and priests, but it is also important to act with “the particular humility and service which God wills for each and every person.”
He said, “There is no shortage of people eager to do great things for God, but far fewer are those eager to do great things in the way that God wills rather than they will.”
Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist and Mary are examples of people “brought low by God” so that God may be exalted, he said.
“Today, Ricardo, Mauricio and Ramon are saying yes to God’s call to ordination in humility and in service,” Archbishop Blair said. “We pray that their yes to the gift of ministry may always be active and zealous and joyful in the sure knowledge that there is no greater joy than the joy of experiencing what God can do in and through what is poor and lowly and humble.”
After the homily, the ordinands declared their intentions and promised respect and obedience to Archbishop Blair and his successors.
During a Litany of Supplication, the ordinands prostrated themselves before the altar. Then, in the most solemn gesture of the rite, Archbishop Blair silently laid his hands on the head of each of the elect, signifying that the gift of the Holy Spirit was conferred upon them.
The newly ordained transitional deacons were then vested in the garments of their order, a stole worn over one shoulder and a dalmatic. Deacon Alcaraz was vested by Father Robert M. Kwiatkowski, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Woodbury. Deacon Hurtado was vested by Father Michael J. Dolan, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish in South Windsor. Deacon Garcia was vested by Msgr. Thomas M. Ginty, pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Forestville.
The new transitional deacons have returned to their seminaries to complete their studies. Deacon Garcia is finishing his theology at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. Deacon Hurtado and Deacon Alcaraz are both at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Maureen Drcewrecki, a member of St. Matthew Parish in Forestville, is a friend of Deacon Garcia. “We’re just so proud, and we know what a wonderful priest he will be. It is truly his calling; God is calling him to the priesthood,” she said.