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Ordination to the Diaconate 2024

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On Saturday, May 4th 2024, the Carmelite Provinces of Saint Elias and Most Pure Heart of Mary, ordained two of their brothers, Ryan-Joseph Resureccion and Gregg Jude Durham, to the Order of Deacons. The Ordination Mass was celebrated at The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Most Rev. Gerardo Colacicco, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, was the ordaining prelate. The Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the St. Elias Province, Very Rev. Carl Markelz, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, and Rev. Rolf “Nepi” Willemsen, O.Carm., Director of Formation at Whitefriars Hall served as the principal concelebrants. Rev. Bro. Jonathan Steele, O.Carm. and Rev. Bro. Roberto Carlos Reyes, O.Carm., served as deacons. The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and the Infirm were also present at the Mass. Several Carmelite brothers, seminarians and lay persons formed the schola under the director, Ms. Eva Sze.

In his homily, Bishop Colacicco started with the statement of the Provincial, who declared that the candidates for ordination “were found worthy.” Worthiness comes only from God, explained the Bishop. “None of us is really worthy except that God makes us so.” He encouraged the two deacons to live a life of prudence with conscientious examination of self, and prayer. He also spoke about St. Stephen, the first deacon, as the brothers’ role model for their upcoming ministry. St. Stephen “spoke the truth… fixed on God… and prayed for forgiveness.” As it is written in the Acts of the Apostles that they did not neglect the Word of God, the Bishop encouraged the brothers to “strive daily to be filled with faith in the Holy Spirit, strive to abound in every evangelical virtue mainly love of God and neighbor, concern for the sick and the poor, purity in mind and body and be men of prayer.” 

Following the homily, the ordination rites proceeded. The newly ordained deacons were vested by their respective Provincials assisted by Deacons Jonathan and Roberto. The offertory gifts were brought up by the newly ordained deacons’ family. At the end of the Mass, Father Mario thanked all of those who cooperated and labored to prepare the beautiful ceremony, the flowers, the servers, the Shrine staff, the Schola and each person who lent his or her time and talent for the occasion. Following the Mass, a reception was held for the friars, family, friends, guests and loved ones. Let us pray for our newly ordained deacons, Brothers Ryan-Joseph and Gregg, that like St. Stephen they may be filled with the Holy Spirit and zeal to proclaim the Word of God worthily.



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