From Staff Reports
Calling it a “very special day within the Diocese of Dallas,” Bishop Edward J. Burns ordained five men to the transitional diaconate during a diocesan ceremony held at St. Ann Catholic Church in Coppell on April 10.
“For in these men’s ordination to the transitional diaconate, we the people of God are filled with so much hope that God never abandons us and continues to bestow upon us the gift of His presence through their wonderful vocations,” the bishop said.
Ordained were Rev. Mr. Cristian Casado Carmona, Rev. Mr. Herbert Sebastián Martínez Victoria, Rev. Mr. Lucas Moreira de Sales, Rev. Mr. Ricardo Reyes Mata and Rev. Mr. Elijiah Jonas Gabriel Thomson. Rev. Mr. Thomson and Rev. Mr. Casado each attended seminary at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, La., while Rev. Mr. Martínez, Rev. Mr. Moreira de Salas and Rev. Mr. Reyes all attended Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Dallas.
The ordination was livestreamed, which added to the celebration, Bishop Burns said, calling it an example of the universality of the Church with four of the men hailing from other countries and had family and friends watching in Mexico, Spain, Colombia and Brazil.
“This does give us the opportunity to recognize the universality of our Church as well as God’s call, which is impacting people from around the world,” he said. “We are profoundly blessed by this.”
As transitional deacons, the five men are one step closer to being ordained as priests.
In his homily, Bishop Burns encouraged the new deacons to observe the boldness of St. Peter, St. John and the disciples of Christ. The bishop urged them to witness what the early apostles did despite efforts to silence them. He also told them to witness the disciples of Christ that they need look no further than “the good men of our presbyterate.”
“The good men who serve in this diocese — witness their boldness,” Bishop Burns said. “During this past year, they have boldly gone into places and hospitals facing a disease that no one would have predicted and brought forth the sacraments to the dying when family members could not be present. They boldly brought our Lord, Jesus Christ, to those who were in need. We are witness to them.
“We witness also how they have multiplied all the celebrations of their parishes so as to serve those during the time of social distancing,” he said. “How boldly they added to the numbers of hours they have to work, toil and sacrifice themselves. It’s amazing to see how these brothers of ours have truly lived out the sacrament of confession — in the wind, in the cold, in the rain — so as to bring forth the forgiveness of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The bishop charged the new deacons to not only witness the boldness, but to also understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
“In all that we do, we promote Him and not ourselves,” Bishop Burns said. “How we identify ourselves is clear and simple: I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have come to follow him. In all that my life has and the wonderful ways I have been blessed, I keep my singular gaze and focus on the fact that Jesus Christ, our Lord, suffered and died for me. And he has called me to be his disciple.
“It’s important that we stay focused on that,” he said.
The bishop also took time to express his gratitude to the family and friends, both in attendance at the Mass and abroad.
“The men who come to be ordained do not come alone. We are profoundly grateful to their families and friends because it is within the domestic church, in the home, that they first learn their relationship with God,” Bishop Burns said. “Your families are a blessing to the Church and we see your sons, your brothers, your grandsons, your nephews, as a true gift to the Church. We thank you.”