Ten New Deacons Part of Christ’s Plan for His Church, Cardinal Says

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At the Mass of Ordination for 10 permanent deacons, Cardinal Dolan said many people and groups could claim a fair share of the credit. The cardinal naturally began with the men themselves for accepting the call to diaconal service in the Church, before extending the plaudits to their wives and families and then going on to the parishes—and priests and religious men and women—where they will serve. Their fellow deacons, including those who formed them at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, also shared in the acclaim.

“All of you deserve credit and praise,” the cardinal said to the deacons and to the many assembled in the pews at St. Patrick’s Cathedral June 18. Despite the key roles each had played, they were all part of the “supporting cast.”

“The spotlight this morning is on none other than Jesus,” Cardinal Dolan said. “It’s only with His grace and His plan to serve His Church.” 

“In the midst stands Jesus, so my soon-to-be brother deacons…this is His call, His initiative, His design,” said the cardinal, telling those he would ordain that they were now part of the Lord’s “eternal plan to more tenderly love and serve His bride, the Church.”

Assignments of Newly Ordained Permanent Deacons

Effective June 18

 

Deacon Daniel Condon, Immaculate Conception, Stony Point

Deacon Escolastico Daniel Corniell Tejada, Ascension, Manhattan

Deacon Douglas FitzMorris, St. Patrick, Yorktown Heights

Deacon Lucas Garcia, St. Anastasia, Harriman

Deacon Robert Leavy Jr., Holy Name of Jesus, Otisville

Deacon Steven Morgante, St. Patrick, Yorktown Heights

Deacon Anthony Reino, St. John-St. Mary, Chappaqua

Deacon Paul Reisman, Immaculate Conception-Assumption of Our Lady, Tuckahoe

Deacon Rafael Taveras, St. Jude, Manhattan

Deacon John Tremblay, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Shrub Oak

The cardinal’s homily was delivered during the beautiful and reverent Rite of Ordination, following the election of the candidates, where each man is called forward by name and announces himself “present.”

During the rite, the deacons were vested in the stole and dalmatic emblematic of their new diaconate ministry by the pastors or another priest of the parishes where they will serve.

Concelebrants included Msgr. Joseph LaMorte, vicar general and moderator of the curia; and many other priests. Many permanent deacons also participated, including Deacon Francis Orlando, director of diaconate formation, who proclaimed the Gospel; and Deacon James Bello, director of diaconate ministry and life. Family members of two of the new deacons brought forward the offertory gifts. 

Following Mass the new deacons greeted family members and friends at the side chapels throughout the cathedral. 

At the altar of St. John the Evangelist, Hector Tejada, 35, told CNY that he expects his godfather, Deacon Esolastico Daniel Corniell Tejada, serving at Ascension parish on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to be “great for the community and for the Church.”

Along with his responsibilities at Ascension, Deacon Tejada’s service to the Church of New York has extended to work for the archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry and the Emmaus Brotherhood program.

“He’s always been in service, very vocal,” Hector Tejada said. “He’s always helping people.”

At the nearby chapel of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Shrub Oak parish of the same name was celebrating the ordination of Deacon John Tremblay. He is the second deacon ordained from the parish in as many years, following Deacon Walter Lopez last June.

Rose Lopez, the wife of Deacon Lopez, said there is something special about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. “They’re so warm, so welcoming, so much love in that parish,” she said in an interview.

Mrs. Lopez said her husband’s service as a deacon has been a blessing to his family as well as to their parish. “He’s a better husband, a better father…It’s brought us all closer to Christ,” she said of her family which includes two adult children in their mid-20s.

Deacon Tremblay’s ordination holds a similar promise for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Mrs. Lopez said. The two deacons went through the diaconate formation program one year apart. “He’s a wonderful family man, with a sincere love of God,” she said.

Father Robert Quarato, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for the past seven years, gave credit to the men’s ministry at Seton as a place where lots of good things happen. As new members are invited to join, they get “caught up in the idea” from those who already belong.

Along with the two new deacons, Father Quarato said, three more men from the parish are in formation for the diaconate. 

Just after the Ordination Mass ended, Rob Ryser told CNY about team experiences he had shared with two of the new deacons, Deacon Doug FitzMorris and Deacon Robert Leavy Jr., on Cursillo weekends at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls.    

“I consider them to be brothers in Christ,” Ryser said.   

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