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June 4, 2017

‘Showing themselves to be servants to all’: Two men ordained to transitional diaconate

From left are Mark and Ann DeCarlo, Deacon Christian DeCarlo, Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, Deacon James De Oreo, and Catherine and Victor De Oreo. (Photo by Bob Nichols)

From left are Mark and Ann DeCarlo, Deacon Christian DeCarlo, Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, Deacon James De Oreo, and Catherine and Victor De Oreo. (Photo by Bob Nichols)

By Caroline B. Mooney

LAFAYETTE — Christian M. DeCarlo and James A. De Oreo now carry the title of “Deacon” after their ordinations on May 27 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. 

“There is a different attitude for my homily this morning,” Bishop Timothy L. Doherty said. “I struggle sometimes with finding the right words — beautiful, encouraging words. There’s a temptation in our particular culture to imagine that we can put everything into language. It’s a mistake made in legislatures and in courts.

“The mistake is to think that language can carry everything. If it could, we wouldn’t need poetry, dance, music or liturgy,” he said. “In other words, our assembling here is the language of the Church; our prayer is the language of the Holy Spirit breathing through us. And so it is with great humility and tremendous joy that we have come to this moment to listen to these Scriptures which these men chose, to speak about unity, to speak about gifts, and to speak about the love we have in Christ.”

Transitional deacons are seminarians ordained to the diaconate in the final year of their preparation for priesthood.

Deacon DeCarlo and Deacon De Oreo presented themselves to the bishop, and were greeted with applause from the hundreds of relatives, friends and faithful in attendance.

Reading from the rites of ordination for deacons, Bishop Doherty said, “Brothers and sisters, since these our sons, who are our relatives and friends, are now to be advanced to the order of deacons, considered carefully the nature of rank in Church to which they are to be raised. Strengthened by the gift of the Holy Spirit, they will help the bishop and his priests in ministry of Word, of the altar and of charity. Showing themselves to be servants to all.

“As ministers of the altar, they will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice and distribute the Lord’s Body and Blood to the faithful,” he said. “Furthermore, it will be their duty at the bishop’s discretion to exhort believers and unbelievers alike and to instruct them in holy doctrine. They will preside over public prayer, assist at baptisms, assist at and bless marriages, bring viaticum to the dying and conduct funeral rites. Consecrated by the laying on of hands that comes down to us from the apostles and bound more closely to the service of the altar, they will perform works of charity in the name of the bishop or the pastor. With the help of God, they are to go about all their duties in such a way that you will recognize them as disciples of him who came not to be served, but to serve.”

The candidates promised to carry out their office and live according to Christ and the Church.

The ordinands lay prostrate on the floor during the litany of saints. (Photo by Bob Nichols)

The ordinands lay prostrate on the floor during the litany of saints. (Photo by Bob Nichols)

The men lay prostrate on the altar floor as the congregation called on saints of the Church to pray for them. 

Bishop Doherty then conferred the gift of the Holy Spirit as he laid hands on each of the men before ordaining them.

The newly ordained deacons were vested with stoles and dalmatics by candidates for the priesthood: Deacon Cole Daily vested Deacon De Oreo, and Deacon Michael Bower vested Deacon DeCarlo. Handing on the Book of the Gospels, Bishop Doherty said, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Deacon DeCarlo, 25, is a student at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. He was to deliver his first homily at his home parish, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Zionsville, on May 28.

“It was a beautiful celebration,” said Mark DeCarlo, father of Deacon DeCarlo. “It was really a culmination in Christian’s journey.”

His mother, Ann, and sister, Sarah, both expressed pride in the new deacon.

“I have been looking forward to this for a long time,” Deacon DeCarlo said. “It’s the culmination of six years of formation and prayer. It’s a great joy.

“I am looking forward to preaching,” he said, “and to being able to build good relationships with people by being in one place.”

Deacon De Oreo, 27, also a student at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, was to deliver

his first homily at his home parish, St. Joan of Arc, Kokomo, on May 28.

His parents, Catherine and Victor De Oreo, drove from New Mexico for the ordination. His sister, Victoria, traveled from her home in Philadelphia.

Catherine De Oreo said the ordination was a joyful experience.

“We’ve been so excited to come here,” she said. “I think he has always had the focus that this is it for him.”

Victor De Oreo said he was happy for his son, and reiterated that he has known this was his vocation for a long time.          

“I had a very peaceful morning, with not too much anxiety,” Deacon De Oreo said. “It is just a blessing to be ordained here in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

“I am looking forward to preaching and that relationship with Christ, celebrating the sacraments and receiving the graces of the Holy Spirit.”

Both men are scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in 2018.

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