Oct 5, 2013 / 11:38 am
On Thursday, 41 seminarians studying at the North American College in Rome were ordained deacons for their respective dioceses in the United States and Australia.
The 41 men lay prostrate on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica Oct. 3 while the Litany of Saints was prayed over them, before they made life-long commitments, promising obedience to their bishops, daily prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, and celibacy.
As he lay on the cold marble, Deacon Christopher Brashears of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City was overwhelmed by “surreal feelings” and “an immense feeling of joy (and) peace,” he recounted in an interview with CNA.
Deacon Brashears was blessed to experience the beginning of what Cardinal James Harvey, Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-walls, spoke of in his homily: “We, family and friends, pray that their joy will be one that grows with the years, that they will carry to the grave.”
Cardinal Harvey spoke of how the vocation to holy orders entails a life-long commitment to the Church, which is not without its challenges. “You surrender one of the most prized possessions that you have: your free will to the will of your superior, your bishop.”
“But by doing so, every function of your ministry is in conformity with the will of God in which you are nearest to Christ, victim-priest, who was obedient even unto death.”
“It is the final assurance of the tender embrace of Christ who reminds you in the Gospel, ‘it is not you who chose me, it is I who chose you to go and bear fruit that will last.’”
Deacon Jonathan Ficara, newly ordained for the Diocese of Norwich, told CNA that he has felt the grace of Christ in his life in the years he has spent discerning his vocation.
“It’s incredible, the Lord’s grace and his mercy during those years. Those low points in one’s life oftentimes are the moments when the Lord touches you and fills you with his love, and that’s really what he did.” …
Go here for the rest of the story.