Everything became official two or three months prior, but nine days before ordination, pending holy orders still seemed surreal. “I can’t believe I got that letter from the bishop — that he’s calling me to ordination. I’m still kind of in awe that I’ve been called,” Dcn. Tony Smith said. That letter formally wrapped up a five-year formation process plus two years of academic preparation through the Kino Catechetical Institute prior to that. His call to holy orders was one of five that became a reality when Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted ordained the men to the permanent diaconate at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral Nov. 5. Dcns. Billy Chavira, Christopher Giannola, Gary Scott, Marvin Silva and Tony Smith began serving at local parishes — largely their own — the following day and in the community the same week. Ordained deacons carry out a service of the Word, the altar and charity. Deacons proclaim the Gospel, prepare the Sacrifice and distribute holy Communion. The now 250 deacons serving the Diocese of Phoenix also instruct believers and unbelievers in holy doctrine, preside over public prayer, bring holy Communion to the dying and conduct funeral rites.
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome. Ad multos annos!
Photo: Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN