PARANAQUE City, Aug. 29, 2016 – Accept the beautiful burden of sacrifice that comes with service.
This was the message given by Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado to six Rogationist brothers whom he ordained to the diaconate on Aug. 27 during a concelebrated Mass at the Holy Spirit Chapel of the Fr. Di Francia Center of Studies, Sucat, Paranaque City.
In his homily, the prelate urged the new deacons Congregation of the Rogationist of the Heart of Jesus, St. Matthew Province that, “as bearers and preachers of the Word, [they must] learn accepting the burden of sacrifice of service to others.”
‘Hierarchy of love’
Mercado added: “The deacon’s ministry is not a hierarchy of power but a hierarchy of love and service,” Mercado told Rogationist brothers Jorem Bellen, Zander Conson, Mark Robin Destura, Jose Gasta, Jonrey Lauron, and Espiredion Verano, Jr.
Comparing them to an earthen vessel, the prelate said: “You can be efficacious ministers of Jesus if you humbly acknowledge that you are an earthen vessel but more importantly you carry the treasure – Christ himself.”
When the going gets tough
The bishop concluded his homily by prayerfully encouraging the new deacons to also learn how to pray and open their heart, most especially when the going gets tough.
Congratulating them for their “self-surrender to God”, Mercado also reminded them that they have people who continue to pray for them.
SMP Provincial Superior Fr. Herman Abcede gave a message of thanks to those who came to take part in the celebration. He also extended his warm gratitude to Mercado, notably recalling the number of theology students whom the prelate had ordained throughout the years.
Fr. John Francis Frederick Manlapig, Chair of the Diocesan Commission on Liturgy and Popular Religiosity of the Diocese of Parañaque, and parish priest of San Antonio de Padua Parish (Valley 1), assisted in the solemn Ordination Rites.
Conson, one of the newly-ordained deacons, also delivered his keynote thanksgiving to the relatives, friends, benefactors, confreres, and seminarians who graced the event.
Notably present at the celebration were the congregation’s Vicar General, Fr. Jose Maria Ezpeleta, RCJ; the Provincial Superior of the St. Matthew Province (SMP), Fr. Herman Abcede, RCJ; and concelebrating priests from Communities of the Province. Members of the congregation of Daughters of Divine Zeal, the lay organization Union of Prayer for Vocations (UPV), other religious congregations, benefactors, friends, and relatives of the ordinands also take part in the ordination.
To signify the importance of the Order of Diaconate, there were also a handful of deacons present at the liturgy, who also assisted during the solemn Rites. These deacons, too, are the ordinands’ classmates from the Don Bosco Center of Studies, and confreres from several Rogationist communities.
Presently, Jorem, Zander, Jose, Jonrey, and Espiredion Jr. are taking up theological studies at the Don Bosco Center of Studies, Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City. Meanwhile, Destura is currently assigned as Collaborator of Various Pastoral Works at the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Bolinao, Pangasinan. (Br. John Francis C. Aberion, RCJ / St. Hannibal Rogate Center / CBCPNews)