From Northwest Catholic:
Reflecting some of the diversity of the church in Western Washington, 21 men born in Mexico, India, Vietnam, Ecuador, the Philippines and the United States were ordained permanent deacons by Archbishop Paul D. Etienne December 19 at St. James Cathedral.
“Dear brothers, Jesus summons you to fulfill this mission in each of your lives, and today bestows upon you a unique grace and office of charity and service through the sacrament of holy orders as deacons,” Archbishop Etienne said in his homily (read the entire homily below).
“As you take up this sacramental role of service today, I cannot emphasize enough that it is to be modeled upon Jesus Christ,” he added.
This was the first class of permanent deacons to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Seattle since 2012.
The ordination Mass began with the 21 diaconate candidates processing in, followed by Auxiliary Bishops Eusebio Elizondo and Daniel Mueggenborg and Archbishop Etienne. Instead of a packed cathedral, COVID-19 restrictions meant only the candidates, their wives and a limited number of guests could attend; all wore masks and were seated in social-distancing fashion. Also present were a number of priests, including pastors of the parishes where the men will serve (see list below).
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there was no congregational singing; the hymns and prayers were intoned by the cathedral cantor, accompanied by organ.
The readings were from the Acts of the Apostles, about the first seven men selected as deacons by the Apostles, and the Gospel of St. Matthew, recounting how Jesus instructed his apostles to be servants of all. After the readings, Father Frank Schuster, director of the diaconate formation program, made the request to Archbishop Etienne for ordination of the candidates. The archbishop accepted them, to applause from the congregation.
In his homily, Archbishop Etienne praised the men and their wives for their dedication to the diaconate training they began in 2016. Deacons, he said, are to be models of charity and find nourishment at the altar, venturing out to the community to serve, then returning to the altar.
“Brothers, never forget it is Christ who has summoned you,” the archbishop said. “As daunting as it may seem, you will be more than capable of bringing his love and mercy into the world because he has loved you first, and will always be faithful in sustaining you in his love. Live in the love of Christ, and be generous in your selfless love of his people.”
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!