On Oct. 2, 43 seminarians from the Pontifical North American College were ordained to the transitional diaconate during a celebration of the Eucharist. Paul Solomon, pictured above, of the Diocese of Joliet, was among those ordained. His Eminence, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., was the ordaining prelate at the Ordination Mass, celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, in the Vatican. Cardinal Wuerl, a native of Pittsburgh and an alumnus of the North American College, has been the archbishop of Washington since 2006 and was created a cardinal in the Consistory of November 2010.
In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl spoke to those about to be ordained, “In a few moments you will lay down while we pray the Litany of the Saints. The posture is intended to invoke the reality that you are laying down your lives for a friend, the greatest friend, Jesus Christ. It is also here where the bones of Peter remind us that our first pope truly laid down his life for the Lord. To serve means to give whatever it takes to serve Christ.”
During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy, and obedience to their diocesan bishop. The new deacons will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood in their home dioceses.
Other people present at the Mass were a group of pilgrims from the Diocese of Joliet, including Father Burke Masters, the diocesan vocations director, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Siegel. The group are visiting Rome and Assisi as part of their pilgrimage.