Seven men were ordained as permanent deacons for the archdiocese June 19 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Mass of Ordination was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan, who also served as homilist.
“So here we are, everybody, not in Jerusalem but in New York,” said the cardinal in his homily during the morning Mass, speaking about he and other Church leaders continuing the works of the apostles.
“We continue to invite them to serve at the table; to serve at the table as deacons...This archdiocese welcomes you. We love you very much; we need you. And we praise God this morning for continuing to call men to serve at the table. Deacons are called to serve at the table, the table of the Holy Altar.”
The cardinal went on to speak about St. Joseph, noting how Pope Francis dedicated this year to Christ’s foster father.
“St. Joseph is the ultimate man at the table,” the cardinal said. “He was a carpenter; he was called to construct tables. He was a man of few words, and you deacons will have few words at the Table of the Eucharist; few but important.”
Auxiliary Bishop Edmund Whalen, vicar for clergy, assisted Cardinal Dolan in the ordination rite, saying, “Holy Mother Church asks you to ordain these men, our brothers, to their responsibilities to the diaconate...We choose these men, our brothers, to the Order of the Diaconate.”
The cardinal replied, “Well, relying then on the help of our Lord God, and of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we then choose them, our brothers, to the Order of the Diaconate. Thanks be to God; thanks be to God.” This was greeted with loud applause by the congregation.
“Welcome our new brother deacons,” Cardinal Dolan said.
The First Reading, read in Spanish, was from Acts Chapter 6, which says, “They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly.”
The Gospel Reading, read in English, was from Luke Chapter 10. It says, “Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’... Cure the sick in it (whatever town you enter) and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
Several hundred people, including many supportive family members and friends of the new deacons, attended the Mass.
The seven new deacons, all with years of faithful service in their parish communities, are:
Deacon Martin Asiamah, 46, parishioner of St. Luke’s in the Bronx. He has worked for Tiffany and Company and now works for the New York Life Insurance Company. He and his wife, Rita, are parents of four.
Deacon Fernando Cortés, 58, parishioner of St. Bernard’s in White Plains. He owns a pest control business. He and his wife, Sidia, are parents of two.
Deacon Stephen DiGangi, 68, parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption in Katonah. He recently retired from the Katonah Lewisboro schools. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are parents of five and grandparents of six.
Deacon John Hum, 66, parishioner of St. Eugene's in Yonkers. He is retired from the financial services industry.
Deacon Walter Lopez, 62, parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Shrub Oak. He is a retired NYPD detective. He and his wife, Rose, are parents of two.
Deacon Juan Martinez, 47, parishioner of St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity in Mamaroneck. He is an administrative social worker employed at Montefiore Medical Center. He and his wife, Katya, are parents of two.
Deacon Joseph F. Schiavone, 65, parishioner at Holy Family on Staten Island. He worked for the City of New York as an architectural designer. He and his wife, Fran, are parents of three.
“I feel very blessed. I give thanks to God for this moment,” Deacon Martinez told Catholic New York after the Mass. “And I give thanks to the Church in New York and to my parish, to all in the community for their love and support.”
Deacon Martinez added, “This is a big day, especially after the past year with the pandemic. The homily was perfect; we are all called to serve; to serve the sick, the poor, all those in need.”
Deacon DiGangi, in an interview, said, “This special day is filled with joy, with the Holy Spirit who has come upon me, and has empowered me to give to the community to serve the people of my parish and the people of New York.”
Assignments of Newly Ordained Permanent Deacons
Effective June 19
Deacon Martin Asiamah, St. Luke’s, the Bronx
Deacon Fernando Cortes, St. Bernard’s, White Plains
Deacon Joseph Schiavone, Holy Family, Staten Island
Deacon John Hum, St. Eugene’s, Yonkers
Deacon Juan Martinez, St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity, Mamaroneck
Deacon Walter Lopez, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Shrub Oak
Deacon Stephen DiGangi, St. Mary of the Assumption, Katonah