The first week of June will be one of great joy in our diocese. We will ordain two transitional deacons on June 1 and a new priest on June 8.
Alfredo Villarreal, a parishioner of Most Precious Blood in Corpus Christi, and David Bayardo, whose home parish is Holy Family in Corpus Christi, will be ordained as transitional deacons at the Cathedral beginning at 10 a.m. Both of them are attending St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston.
Transitional deacons are usually ordained to the diaconate after they complete their third year at the theological seminary. They are “transitional” because they are on the path to become a priest. There is no difference in the sacramental sign or the functions between “transitional” and “permanent deacons.”
A week later, at 10 a.m. June 8 at the Cathedral, we will ordain Deacon Chris Becerra to the priesthood. Deacon Chris, who is also a seminarian at St. Mary’s, received his early formation in the faith at his home parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help that evening at 7 p.m.
If you have never participated in the ordination of a priest, I highly recommend attending. A Mass of ordination is one of the most beautiful Masses you will ever experience. It calls upon rituals that date back several centuries in the life of the Church. While it is a time of great joy and celebration on the part of the newly ordained priest, his family, friends and all those who have supported and encouraged him along the path of his vocation join in celebration. It is fundamentally a celebration for the whole diocese.
These three men will make a much-needed contribution to the clergy in our diocese. As you may recall, we had five priests that will retire at the end of June and four others that will return to their home diocese in India. We continue to have a great need for vocations in our diocese and I ask for your prayers for vocations.
In particular, I invite your prayers for the four young men that are presently considering applying for seminary. Pray, with me, that the Holy Spirit helps them discern the call of Christ to the priesthood.