I got this email late Saturday, from Rich Herbst in the bishop’s office in San Bernardino:

The Diocese of San Bernardino has ten candidates for ordination to the permanent diaconate this year with five of them from the same parish, Our Lady of Soledad in Coachella.  Due to the current state limitations on religious celebrations indoors as well as restrictions on the numbers who can gather for Mass, Bishop Barnes scheduled four separate ordination Masses this year.

On August 22, Bishop Barnes ordained Deacons Mario Aguiar, Baltazar Aguirre, and Juan Lombera at an outdoor Mass at Our Lady of Soledad in temperatures approaching 100°.  They are pictured inside the church after the Mass.

At the same time, Coadjutor Bishop Alberto Rojas ordained Deacons Raul Michel, Enrique Vazquez, and Leonardo Bautista  at St. Christopher in Moreno Valley.

Coincidentally, at that time the largest church in the diocese, St. Christopher is the church where Bishop Barnes was ordained to the episcopacy over 28 years ago.  Bishop Barnes is currently the longest serving ordinary in the United States.

Two more ordination Masses are scheduled for Saturday, August 29 with each bishop ordaining two more men to the permanent diaconate.

Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos! 

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