By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os
A new set of permanent deacons will be ordained for the Archdiocese of Agaña at the Dulce Nombre de Maria de Cathedral Basilica at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, the day after the celebration of the island’s patron saint Santa Marian Kamalen on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“All are invited,” said Father Richard Kidd, pastor of the Maina parish of Our Lady of Purification, when making the announcement for the event. Father Kidd has been serving as the Director of Vocation and Permanent Diaconate Program of our archdiocese since Sept. 30, 2016.
The men who will be ordained to the sacred order of deacons are Greg Calvo from the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Yigo, Huan Hosei and Rene Dela Cruz from the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Toto, John Fernandez from the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Rita, George Quitugua from the parish of Santa Teresita in Mangilao, Joe Gumataotao and Romeo Hernandez from the parish of Santa Barbara in Dededo, and Rudy Que from the parish of Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña.
An ordained minister of the Catholic Church, a deacon is “a sacramental sign to the Church and to the world of Christ, who came ‘to serve and not to be served’” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Although the entire Church is called by Christ to serve, the deacon, through his various ministries and sacramental ordination is to be a “servant in a servant-Church.”
According to the USCCB, “All ordained ministers in the Church are called to functions of Word, Sacrament, and -Charity. …
“… As ministers of Word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach, and teach in the name of the Church. As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services. As ministers of Charity, deacons are leaders in identifying the needs of others, then marshaling the Church’s resources to meet those needs.”
Ordained ministers rose from one office to another for many years, resulting in ordination to the priesthood, according to the USCCB. In 1962 to 1965, however, the Second Vatican Council “authorized the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order of ministry. … There is no difference in the sacramental sign or the functions between these so-called ‘transitional’ and ‘permanent’ deacons.”
The USCCB also explains that “The Second Vatican Council decreed that the diaconate, when it was restored as a permanent order in the hierarchy, could be opened to ‘mature married men,’ later clarified to mean men over the age of 35.”
The USCCB states that this is in “keeping with the ancient tradition of the church, in which married men were ordained into ministry,” however, there is expectancy that “while a married man may be ordained, an ordained man, if his wife should die, may not marry again without special permission.”
When asked if the new set of deacons will serve for their respective parishes, Father Kidd said, “That is actually up to the bishop to assign them.”
The USCCB states that when a person is ordained, he is to serve the diocesan church.
Deacons are the same, as they will be assigned to ministries which the bishop deems necessary of “a great need,” and for which “the deacon may have special gifts or talents.”
Father Kidd stated that these candidates have been under the permanent diaconate program of the archdiocese for approximately five years, as he himself was assigned as vocations director only a year ago.
To find out more about becoming a deacon, the best place to start, as suggested by the USCCB, is with your pastor. Hence, for Guam, the pastor would then put the interested person in contact with Father Kidd, the Director of Vocation and Permanent Diaconate -Program.
For more on vocations, see http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/