By Liz Sullivan
Angelbert Chikere and Joseph Tran answered the Call.
Standing before Bishop Oscar Cantú and a church full of the faithful the two men were ordained Transitional Deacons for the Diocese of San José during a Mass at Holy Family Parish on January 4.
“For Angelbert and Joseph, there is something to be said for standing for what you believe in,” said Bishop Cantú during his homily. “The journey says something about you. It began long ago when God tapped both of you on the shoulder and said follow me. That led you to this moment where you have said yes; yes, to God’s will to follow him.”
The Ordination Mass, celebrated in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, featured the laying on of hands by the Bishop and the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
As a nod to Chikere’s Igbo heritage, the Second Reading was read in the Igbo language. In addition, an Igbo choir sang during the preparation of the altar.
Tran’s Vietnamese heritage was honored with song from a Vietnamese choir and the First Reading being spoken in Vietnamese.
While the Diocese has some priests from Africa, when ordained Chikere will be the first from Igbo community. The Igbo community are an ethnic group native to present day south-central and southeastern Nigeria.
For these two men, one from the west coast of Africa and the other a small village in Vietnam, it was not hard to see the excitement and enthusiasm from the faithful who filled Holy Family Church to capacity.
“May you continue to say yes, every day of your life, said the Bishop speaking directly to Angelbert and Joseph at the conclusion of his homily. “May you continue to stand up to the call of God.”
Learn more about vocations in the Diocese of San José, by visiting
Click here to view photos from the event.