5/23/2011 12:42:00 PM Men ordained deacons on their way to priesthood
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Archbishop John Vlazny with soon-to-be Deacons José Manuel Campos Garcia, Paolo John Dayto, Rodel de Mesa, James Graham, Joseph Nguyen, Arturo Romero-Bautista, Federico Dundas, Maximo Stock, Peter Rang Nguyen.
The nine deacons kneel before Archbishop Vlazny during their ordination ceremony.
Here is a look at the men who on Saturday were ordained transitional deacons:
• José Manuel Campos-Garcia, a native of Mexico, entered a seminary in Mexico City in 2003. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 2007. He is currently studying at Mount Angel Seminary and his training has included a pastoral year St. Alexander Parish in Cornelius.
• Paolo John Dayto, a native of the Philippines, attended school there before enter Mount Angel Seminary in 2007. His ministerial training has included assignments at St. Paul Parish in Silverton and St. Mary Parish in Corvallis.
• Rodel de Mesa, also schooled through seminary years in his native Philippines, is currently studying at Mount Angel Seminary. His ministerial training has included assignments at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Northeast Portland.
• James Graham, a native of Boise, was raised in Oregon City. He served in the Navy and then worked for the Ford Motor Company and later for the Department of Human Services for the State of Oregon. He became Catholic in 1995 in Roseburg and entered Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., in 2007. His ministry training has included assignments at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego and St. John the Apostle Parish in Oregon City.
• Joseph Hung Nguyen was born and raised in Vietnam. In 1999, he earned a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Portland Community College. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2005. His ministry training has included assignments in Portland at All Saints Parish, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center and The Grotto.
• Arturo Romero-Bautista attended school and some seminary in his native Mexico before entering Mount Angel Seminary in 2009. His ministry training has included assignments in Veracruz, Mexico and Resurrection Parish in Tualatin.
• Federico Dundas, an Argentinian and a member of the St. John Society, is a philosophy professor who has served at the Newman Center at Oregon State University and at St. Mary Parish in Corvallis. He taught middle school and high school before entering Mount Angel Seminary in 2008.
• Maximo Stöck, also an Argentinian and a member of the St. John Society, taught school before entering Mount Angel Seminary in 2008. His training has included service at the Newman Center at Oregon State University and at St. Mary Parish in Corvallis.
• Peter Rang Ngoc Nguyen, a member of the Domus Dei Society for Apostolic Life for 40 years, was born and raised in Vietnam, where he taught high school until 1983. In 1990 he fled to the Philippines and spent six years in a refugee camp, where he became an assistant to the chaplain. In 2004, he entered the United States and has studied at several seminaries.
In a back corner of St. Mary Cathedral Saturday, two boys sat with stars in their eyes. Adrian Garcia-Garfias, 13, and Daniel Tapia-Garfias, 11, had come from Cornelius to see their uncle and eight other men ordained as deacons on the way to priesthood.
Adrian and Daniel know Rev. Mr. José Manuel Campos-Garcia as a "nice guy" and a "good uncle." In a year or so, the boys will know him as "Father," too.
The large cathedral and its stained glass windows — plus the international crowd of almost 1,000 — gave the boys a sense that the Catholic community is much larger than St. Alexander Church, their home parish.
The ordination was a day on which the universality of the church was displayed clearly. Those ordained have family backgrounds from Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Spanish speakers, English speakers, Vietnamese and Filipinos served as liturgical ministers. A long line of clergy — itself a diverse group — processed into the church and worshipers of many nationalities and lined the walls and stood in stairways, straining to see the ancient rite.
The crowd broke into loud and sustained applause when Father Kelly Vandehey, vocations director for the archdiocese, proclaimed the candidates for ordination worthy and Archbishop John Vlazny accepted the report.
The archbishop, a baseball fan, looked out fondly at the nine new deacons and proclaimed them "a team that will definitely be a winner." He said they may strike out some days, or make errors, but predicted that with God's grace and with the support of the people of God, they will succeed.
"These nine men have heard the Lord's call in their hearts, in the church," the archbishop said during his homily. "It is their goal to serve rather than to be served."
Archbishop Vlazny told the nine that this should be their refrain in life: "Here I am. What can I do to help?"
The nine lay prostrate as the congregation sang a litany of saints and then the archbishop ordained them by laying hands on their heads. Family members helped the new deacons into vestments before they knelt before the archbishop again to receive the book of Gospels with these words: "Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach."
The large ordination class — expected to become priests next spring — is a sign of the increasing number of seminarians in the Archdiocese of Portland, a trend that will continue next fall with the entrance of 10-15 young men into formation. The archdiocese's capital campaign in seeking funds to help pay for the increased costs of the education.