ROME — Almost 90 people from the Diocese of Madison travelled to Rome for the ordination of two diocesan seminarians: David Carrano and Greg Ihm.
Friends, relatives, and parishioners, along with Bishop Robert C. Morlino and some priests from the diocese, made the trip to witness Carrano and Ihm’s ordination to the Order of Deacon on October 8.
The sacrament was conferred by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, Mo., at the Altar of the Chair in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican.
Carrano and Ihm were among 30 American seminarians ordained, all students at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
Both Carrano and Ihm expressed appreciation for their ordination and for the presence of so many people from the Diocese of Madison.
“I am so grateful to God for all the many blessings bestowed on me at my ordination as deacon and during the events surrounding it,” said Rev. Mr. Carrano. “I was upheld in a powerful way by the presence and prayers of so many priests, including Bishop Morlino, family members, and friends.
“It is great to experience how much of an ecclesial act ordination really is! Just as seven men in the Book of Acts were called ‘from among the people,’ I felt that same sense of election and support from the Diocese of Madison. It will be an honor to be a herald of the Gospel to such generous people,” said Carrano.
Rev. Mr. Ihm said, “I want to thank the faithful of the Diocese of Madison for your prayerful support, because through the generosity of your heartfelt prayers for vocations, the Lord has called us to Holy Orders. The gift of the call and the grace needed to respond was one of the many graces received in days leading up to the ordination. To hand my life over for the service of the Church is a gift in itself to me, because the Lord will work through me to sanctify and make his bride, the Church, more beautiful.”
He said to the people of the diocese, “My gratitude and prayers continue to go out to you. I also encourage you to keep praying for holy vocations and those already ordained during this year of St. John Vianney.”
Before their ordination, the deacons completed extensive studies in both philosophy and theology. They were also given thorough spiritual and pastoral formation.
As deacons, they have been commissioned by the Church to preach the word of God, minister at the altar, and assist bishops and priests in the pastoral care of the community.
They are called “transitional deacons,” because they expect to be ordained to the priesthood. Carrano and Ihm’s ordination is scheduled for June 25, 2010, at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison. Bishop Morlino will officiate at their ordination.
Besides Bishop Morlino, priests attending the ordination included Msgr. James Bartylla, diocesan vocation director, and priests from the new deacons’ home parishes: Msgr. Gerard Healy from Carrano’s parish of St. Ann in Stoughton and Fr. William Seipp from Ihm’s parish of St. Clement in Lancaster, along with other priests from the diocese.
Msgr. Kevin Holmes, rector of the Cathedral Parish in Madison, vested Carrano. Fr. Tait Schroeder, a diocesan priest studying in Rome, vested Ihm.
Also attending were their parents, Virgina and James Carrano of Stoughton and Sherri and Ray Ihm of Lancaster.
Andy Galvin, coordinator of the Marriage Preparation program for the Diocese of Madison, and his wife, Chris, made their first trip to Rome for the ordination. They went with a group of about 15 people who are former parishioners (from Barneveld) and friends of Fr. Tait Schroeder.
“It was quite a trip for us,” said Andy Galvin. “It was just incredible to participate in a Mass at St. Peter’s and get a real sense of the universal Church. To be there for the ordination of two of our future priests was wonderful. We saw such incredible joy on their faces.”
The Galvins also attended Masses for the new deacons on October 9 at churches near the Vatican (the Church of the Holy Spirit for Ihm and St. Ann Church for Carrano). Both deacons preached at the Masses. “They showed great fervor and love for the Church,” said Galvin.
Kara Roisum, a staff member at St. Ann School in Stoughton, also made the trip to Rome, along with a pilgrimage in Italy with Mater Dei Tours. Roisum, who works with Virginia Carrano, had booked the trip before her mother was diagnosed with breast canceer. “We used the trip as a spiritual goal for all of us,” she said. “I have to say that I’ve never been moved so much. For my mom, getting front seats for the pope was huge. As he passed, he looked at her and gave her a blessing.
“Also, the group itself was fantastic. We brought a wheelchair along for mom and there were times, like in Siena, when my brother Kyle couldn’t quite make it up the very steep hills. Several times, some of the Carranos or Ihms would suddenly come up, grab the chair, and start hauling her up. It was great!”