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Photos and text by Jean Francky Guerrier, SJ

From left to right, Daniel Kennedy, Robenson Siquitte, Abp. Terrence Prendergast, Bill McCormick, and Erik Sorensen

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” (John15:16)

Toronto.– The Jesuit Province of Canada was pleased to celebrate on May 14, 2022, the diaconal ordinations of Daniel Kennedy (USA Midwest Province), William McCormick (USA Central and Southern Province), Robenson Siquitte (Canada-Haiti) and Erik Sorensen (Canada-Haiti) through the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ.

Family and friends came to witness this great moment of joy and gratitude as four Jesuits answered the call that will further engage them in the mission of service to the marginalised in our society. With John 15:9-17 as the Gospel for the day’s liturgy, they became more aware of the unconditional love of God, who calls them to serve in his vineyard. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9).

With the choice of John 15:9-17 as the Gospel for the day’s liturgy, they became more aware of the unconditional love of God, who calls them to serve in his vineyard. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)

The Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toronto, which included the rector of the theologate, Fr. Mike Rosinski, SJ; the Provincial of the Canadian Province, Fr. Erik Oland, SJ; and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, was the first ordination in the Jesuit Province of Canada with a large number of faithful after two years of strict health restrictions imposed by COVID-19. However, COVID-19 is not over yet. Therefore, the organisers maintained sufficient sanitary measures. Indeed, the ordination liturgy not only expressed the joy of the Risen Lord, but also highlighted the hope of a world terribly affected by the pandemic

Diaconal ordinations imply a call to self-emptying, which was evident throughout the liturgy. Before the homily, Fr. Rosinski presented the candidates to Archbishop Prendergast and asked him to admit them, after they had manifested their promise of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and the promise of obedience to the bishop, celibacy and dedication to the service of God’s people. As companions of Jesus, Dan, Bill, Robenson and Erik understand that “our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and together” (GC 34, Decree II, no. 15). They are therefore called to be witnesses to a vibrant faith that engages their whole being as they are united by a common love for Christ who does justice.

As companions of Jesus, Dan, Bill, Robenson and Erik, understand that “our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and together” (GC 34, Decree II, no. 15). They are therefore called to be witnesses to a vibrant faith that engages their whole being as they are united by a common love for Christ who does justice.

After the ceremony, the ordinands expressed their desire to continue their journey with Christ as humble servants of his mission. Robenson said that he was ordained a transitional deacon so that the message of Christ can be known everywhere. As for Erik and Dan, they said they have experienced the joy of being called to serve in a world that needs ministers capable of conveying the joy of the Gospel to the marginalised and disadvantaged. Bill confessed his great joy in understanding his ordination as the most profound grace that enables him to serve in a mission that does justice and brings hope.

In his homily, Archbishop Prendergast reminded the newly ordained deacons that they must imitate Christ’s love for them by loving each other, thereby experiencing a joy that is complete. Therefore, they are called to “serve God and humanity in love and joy. Look upon all unchastity and avarice as worship of false gods; for no one can serve two masters. … Since your first vows in the Society of Jesus you have committed yourself to living the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience,” said Archbishop Prendergast.

Archbishop Prendergast, in his homily, reminded the newly ordained deacons that they must imitate Christ’s love for them by loving each other, thereby experiencing a joy that is complete.

It was a day full of joy, and the people of God were asked to pray for the deacons in their new ministries. As Dan, Bill, Robenson and Erik laid face down on the floor, the whole assembly prayed to the saints for spiritual support for them as they were called “to serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity to the people of God” (LG 29). The new ministers of the Church received the stole and dalmatic, which represent the vestments of the deacons, in addition to receiving the Gospel from the bishop. In the same spirit of apostolic succession, the deacons were invited by Archbishop Prendergast to express in actions what they proclaim in words.

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The newly ordained deacons were also grateful for the support received from their families, friends, and superiors who assisted them throughout their formation. They confessed that they are moved by an ardent desire to respond with humility, commitment, passion, and enthusiasm to the service entrusted by God. “Dedicated to duties of charity and of administration, let deacons be mindful of the admonition of Blessed Polycarp: ‘Be merciful, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who became the servant of all’.” (LG, 29).

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