By Father Gary Dailey
Vocations Director for the Diocese of Springfield
Photos by Carol Pirog
The Church always rejoices when men are called forward to Holy Orders – men being set apart for service in the Church as deacons and priests.
On Saturday, November 27, the Church of Springfield rejoiced as three of her men were called to the Order of Deacon and ordained by Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell. Three bishops and more than 50 priests and deacons gathered with more than 300 worshippers to rejoice with Raymond Tucker Cordani, Ryan Patrick Rooney and Michael James Wood, Jr and their family on their call to ordained ministry. This celebration came after many years of seminary formation and study.
Their ordination to the Transitional Diaconate is another major stop toward their ultimate goal of priesthood. The diaconate is a time for men to grow in their practice of charity. This Order is about service, both at the altar and among the People of God. The transitional deacon also conforms more closely to Christ so that one day when he is called to the priesthood he will be configured to the person of Jesus Christ as he celebrates the sacraments of the Church.
The ceremony began with their “Ad Sum” or “Present.” They stepped out of the pew, indicating that they are being “called apart” from the congregation to service in ordained ministry. There is the testimony of their worthiness and the actual call of the Bishop and the consent of the people through their applause.
The instruction given by Bishop McDonnell was beautiful. He weaved through the official instruction for the deacons a personal message and also the words of Pope Benedict XVI to seminarians. He told them that they are entering into challenging times but with prayer and support of the community, they will persevere and make God’s Word present as a sign of hope.
Tucker, Ryan and Michael were asked by bishop to commit themselves to a life of prayer through the praying of the Liturgy of Hours as well as to a life of celibacy. Being free from marriage they will now be able to serve God and His people without distraction and with great zeal and fidelity.
With the laying on hands these men, our brothers, were ordained to the Order of Deacon. They were vested in their diaconal garb which is the stole crossed from their left shoulder to the side and the dalmatic. They received the Book of the Gospels being told “to believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”
Now, Rev. Mr. Raymond Cordani, Rev. Mr. Ryan Rooney and Rev. Mr. Michael Wood, Jr, are sent to proclaim the Good News, work with the poor, assist the bishops and priests at the altar, baptize, preach, witness marriages, bury the dead.
They wait with eagerness their call to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ so that they can transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, absolve sins and anoint the sick. What a great gift they will receive and what great gift the Church of Springfield will receive as well. We wait in anticipation for that day. Until then, they serve the people in charity as our newly ordained deacons.