Saturday, November 21, 2015

Two Mount Angel Seminarians Ordained as Deacons

story by Br. William Petry, M.Sp.S.
photos courtesy of Arjie Garcia

Arjie Dacua Garcia and Tetzel Ballogan Umingli received their diaconate ordination on Saturday, October 10th at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland by Archbishop Alexander Sample.

Arjie and Tetzel are both students of Mount Angel Seminary in their last year of theological studies and both belong to the Archdiocese of Portland. For this special celebration they were accompanied by various priests, including Msgr. Joseph Betschart, President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary. Several fellow seminarians of the Archdiocese of Portland and other classmates also attended the Mass. Both of their families gathered together before Mass, in joyful preparation along with other parishioners and friends to participate in this pinnacle moment for both of these men.

Archbishop Sample gave a homily encouraging both seminarians in this new phase of their vocation, referring to both of the candidates by name in his address. He initiated his homily reiterating the mission of service of the diaconate. He exhorted them at the beginning that “you are first and foremost configured to Christ the servant . . . you will always be deacons, those called to serve."

Archbishop Sample then focused on the promise of celibacy that they made at this celebration. He particularly invited them to see this commitment as a gift and not as a burden or “a hoop we make men jump through to become priests.”  He concluded his homily heartening Tetzel and Arjie, “give your heart completely to Christ, give your hearts completely to the people you are now called to serve."

Archbishop Sample laying hands on Arjie Garcia

Archbishop Sample laying hands on Tetzel Umingli

Various family members and parishioners stood up at the moment of the ordination, showing the reverent silence and joyful excitement they felt during this special moment. As the deacons received the Gospel and their dalmatics, the liturgical vestments of a deacon, they externally displayed what the supernatural grace of Holy Orders conferred on them spiritually.

Both Tetzel and Arjie were beaming with an exuberant smile as they joined the other clerics down the procession when the celebration came to a close. After the celebration, filled with gratitude, Deacon Arjie reflected, “It felt good . . . but in all of it, I was humbled in the sense that God has confirmed His plan for me to serve Him in this kind of life.” 

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