Two from diocese ordained as transitional deacons Print
Around the Diocese
Written by From the Pontifical North American College, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Nov. 07, 2019 -- 12:00 AM


deacon ordination
Deacons Timothy Mergen, left, and Enan Zelinski after their ordination to the transitional diaconate in Rome by Bishop Robert P. Deeley. (Photo/Pontifical North American College)

ROME -- On October 3, 31 seminarians from the Pontifical North American College were ordained to the transitional diaconate during a celebration of the Eucharist.

Among them were two seminarians from the Diocese of Madison: Timothy Mergen, son of Denise and Greg Mergen of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Monona, and Enan Zelinski, son of Mary and Todd Zelinski of St. Henry Parish in Watertown.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., of Portland, Maine, was the ordaining prelate at the Ordination Mass, celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, in the Vatican.

Bishop Deeley is the current chairman of the Board of Governors at the Pontifical North American College.

Rooted in the Gospel

In his homily, Bishop Deeley spoke to those being ordained about living a “life rooted in the Gospel.”

He held up St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast-day is on October 4, as an exemplar of living such a life. He told the ordinandi that they, like St. Francis, must give everything to God and know themselves to be “loved, chosen, and called to serve.” Herein, he said, lies their “spiritual source” of consolation and joy.

Bishop Deeley explained that the fundamental mission of the deacon is to “bring this ever important message of God’s love, which they have first received, to others.”

He expressed his deepest gratitude to the family, friends, and formators, who aided and “encouraged these men in their response to God.”

During the ordination, the deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy, and obedience to their diocesan bishop.

The deacons will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood in their home dioceses.

The Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary in Rome. The college has formed over 5,000 priests for dioceses in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.