By Liz Sullivan
On a Saturday morning, six days after Easter, three young men from the Diocese of San Jose moved one step closer to the priesthood.
With the backdrop of Saint Pius Church in Redwood City, seminarians Edgar Elamparo, Francis Kalaw and Eric Piczon, joined three classmates from the Diocese of Sacramento (Jesús Gonzalez, Rene Jauregui and German Plaza) were ordained transitional deacons in a Mass celebrated by Sacramento Auxiliary Bishop Myron J. Cotta.
The newly ordained students attend Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park or Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon.
“This is a truly wonderful time of year,” said the Bishop. “It is all about humility. We are all called before the Lord and to do what he wants. We are servants of all. He who empties himself is ready to serve.”
Each of the candidates was called forward, and on behalf of the Church, was presented to the Bishop. In the name of the Church, the Bishop elects the candidates and the assembly reaffirms their election through a round of applause.
Then the candidates make solemn promises to be consecrated for ministry, to serve the Episcopal Order of the People of God with humble charity; to proclaim the Gospel faithfully and hand on the Church’s tradition; to embrace the celibate state as a commitment to Christ; to pray with, and for, the people of God and to conform themselves more closely with Christ. Finally, they pledge obedience to the Bishop and his successors.
At one point in the Mass, the candidates laid prostrate in the sanctuary as a sign of submission, humility and dependence upon the mercy of God, the intercession of the saints and the prayer of the Church.
Finally, the new deacons were clothed with the vesture of deacons, diaconal stole and the dalmatic. Once this happens the deacons are embraced through hugs and handshakes by the Bishop and deacons assembled.
Supporting Bishop Cotta during the were Reverend Mr. Gabriel Lee and Reverend Mr. Khoa Vu from the Diocese of San Jose. Lee and Vu will be ordained priests on June 3, 9:30 a.m., at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.