||Bishop Robert C. Morlino is pictured with the two new transitional deacons, Rev. Mr. Jorge Miramontes and Rev. Mr. Tim Renz. (Catholic Herald photo by Kat Wagner)
MADISON -- Deacons are all about service, "primarily the service of mercy," Bishop Robert C. Morlino said in his homily at the Mass on Friday, May 28, at the Bishop O'Connor Center in which Jorge Miramontes and Tim Renz were ordained as transitional deacons for the Diocese of Madison.
"Jesus' body was broken and His blood poured out so that there may be mercy," Bishop Morlino reminded the new deacons. "The world needs you to be public, permanent witnesses of mercy."
World confused about mercy
He said that the world is confused about mercy. "I see people taking hold of a pelican covered with oil from the oil spill in the Gulf and very gently returning the pelican to action. That is beautiful and heart-warming," said the bishop.
But, he said, there are other areas where there isn't mercy, pointing to the unborn child in the womb who is often not treated with gentleness like the pelican.
"The world is very confused about mercy. We don't condemn the world, but we invite the world to mercy," said Bishop Morlino.
He said deacons especially perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They proclaim the Gospel, do the ministry of charity, and reach out in many ways to the imprisoned, the sick, and the poor.
Promise of obedience
The Church provides "transportation to two expressways" to help the deacons fulfill their mission of service, said Bishop Morlino. The first is the promise of obedience to the bishop and the Church. "Christ's saving act on the cross was an act of obedience, pure and simple. He humbled himself and accepted death on the cross. Jesus learned obedience."
The bishop emphasized that "obedience makes our Church work." Recently, a number of priests were transferred to new positions in the Diocese of Madison. The bishop said priests sacrifice their intelligence, their will, and their body in their obedience to the bishop and the
Church. Their sacrifice "brings unity, so desperately needed in the Church," said Bishop Morlino.
Promise of celibacy
The other "expressway" is the promise of celibacy made by the deacon at his ordination.
"The ordained minister is the husband of one wife: the Church. You have a bride, a very human bride. The Church is your spouse and you will be faithful to her," said Bishop Morlino, noting that the Church can take a turn for "better of worse."
The bishop said there are many faithful marriages in the Church, pointing to members of the Knights of Columbus and the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre present at the Mass.
Bishop Morlino reminded the deacons that they are "giving up everything" in ordination, but they will have help. "Christ, who can do all things, is alive in you. What a spectacular vocation!
"I know for my brother bishops and priests, it always begins with the diaconate. We are deacons forever. You will find the spirit of mercy."
Jorge Miramontes and Tim Renz were called forth from the congregation. They said "I do" in response to the call.
Fr. Paul Arinze, diocesan vocation director, testified that they had been found worthy of ordination. After the bishop affirmed this testimony, the congregation said "Thanks be to God" and applauded.
The two men being ordained stood before the bishop and declared their resolve to be consecrated to the Church's ministry and to discharge their office with humility, to proclaim the Church's faith in word and deed, to live in the celibate state for the sake of the kingdom, to conform their lives to the example of Christ, and to respect and obey the bishop and his successors.
The bishop said, "May God who has begun this good work in you bring it to fulfillment."
People in the congregation offered a Litany of Supplication, calling on Mary and the saints to pray for those being ordained. The congregation also called upon God to deliver them from all evil and every sin and to bless and sanctify these chosen men.
After laying on of hands by the bishop and a prayer of consecration, the deacons were vested in the stole and dalmatic and then knelt before the bishop to receive the Book of the Gospels with the bishop saying: "Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach."
Finally, the bishop greeted each deacon with the sign of Christ's peace. Other deacons present also greeted the newly ordained with a sign of peace, welcoming them to the Order of Deacons.