When St. Paul noticed that certain Christian widows were being neglected from the distiribution of temporal goods, he assigned seven young Greek hunks to do the deeds. They were called diakonos which literally means… waiters. It was such a big hit for the early Christian church (especially among the ladies) to have them that the practice of ordaining deacons remained in the ecclesiastical traditon even to the present. Today, however, deacons are not as Greek-looking as before and the “waiting on tables” thingy is now very much limited to the liturgies, especially during the Holy Mass, but their role as preachers and distributors of Church temporalities remained, albeit in the Philippines, for only about six months or so. Then they’ll be ordained priests, these poor, poor creatures of God.
I’m blogging today the ordination of a friend, Rev. Deacon Jhoen Buenaventura, because among my friend-deacons, he is the only one who has the temerity to ask me to blog about it. hehehe… Jhoen is someone I met in the Friendster through Bluepanjeet, who featured Jhoen’s vocation story and mine in his blog. Like me, he was an OCD aspirant but then he decided to pursue the path to dicocesan priesthood by way of Balanga Diocese. Quite a gifted fellow, he was sent by his Bishop to Rome to throw his weight around Europe to study Theology. He then returned home after three years of lakwatsa of scholarly pursuits and about a few weeks later, on 3Oth of June, at the feast of the Martyrs of Rome, he was ordained as Deacon in Mariveles.
Mariveles is about three hours drive from Manila if you take a Cubao bus at dawn. Any later than 5am and you’ll spend an additional hour just weaving through North part of EDSA. Anyway, here is what I immediately saw upon my arrival in Mariveles.
Parish of Nicholas Tolentine
Aba, at may banners pa! I met an old lady, obviously an usherette for the occasion (given away by her Maria Clara ensemble on a monday morning and that all-too-eager demeanor of someone who wanted to be useful in an occasion). I’m suspicious that this old lady might have read my previous post on seminary fashion as she immediately identified me as a seminarian. Upon demand, she directed me to where the best toilets are and even brought me to this nice house to have a breakfast, to which I was all too willing to follow. There, I found myself in the company of quite a number of seminarians, which explained why there’s no more breakfast left. When it comes to eating, seminarians are forces to reckon with.
seminarians, now well-fed
Then we gathered at the Parish of St. Nicholas Tolentine to attend the Holy Mass, precided by Rev. Bp. Socrates Villegas, DD, the bishop of Balanga.
inside the parish
Here is Jhoen during his entrance procession.
"Dis is da moment!! Weee!"
Truth to tell, this is the first time I ever saw him. Aba, at may hitsura naman pala. medyo nakakaloko lang ang ngiti… Anyway, after a battery of Latin songs and a series of prayers and biblical readings, Jhoen was presented to the bishop as a candidate for ordination.
"everyone is enjoying a spot in front of the electric fan"
Then Bishop Soc, known for his meaty homilies, gave quite a mouthful for Jhoen to masticate. He explained in this exhortation the meaning of the color, red, in the Catholic liturgy.
Bishop Socrates Villegas,DD
Then Jhoen was anointed and was given the Scriptures.
"now, Jhoen, I need your opinion on this one..."
then he was prayed upon by the Congregation by invoking the prayers of quite a long list of saints as he laid prostrate on the floor.
"get that cameraman off me..."
Then the bishop laid hands on him, invoking the Holy Spirit to be upon Jhoen.
"good thing, I used Clear for Men..."
Then he was given a new set of vestments to mark him as deacon. First is the half-stole (not visible in the picture) which is like a sash worn across the chest of the deacons like there were beauty contenstants. Then there’s the dalmatic which is a formal liturgical wear for those who wish to sweat more during the Mass. He is vested by his parents and by a couple of priests.
"anak, bagay pala sayo ang pulang gown..."
Then Jhoen is welcomed by his bishop and his fellow deacons with asphyxiating embraces.
Bishop bearhugs Jhoen
Then Jhoen is given his rightful place in the sanctuary, which is actually a chair on the corner of the sanctuary. hehehe…
"Man... this dalmatic is way too warm!"
Of course, there’s the table service where at this picture, Jhoen acted as the sommelier. har!
"what? that's all the Mompo you've got?"
As part of his ordained ministry, he can now perform exclusive clerical acts like the Elevation of the Sacred Species.
"Through Him, with Him and in Him.."
Then he distributed the Holy Hosts to the faithful. He called me by name when I hac my communion with him. I particularly chose to take this picture because all of them here are wearing red. Wala lang, trip ko lang…
"The Communion is brought to you by the color Red."
Then Jhoen gave his “thank you” speech to the faithful.
"...and thanks to Via Mare for the catering."
Of course, the event is capped with picture-taking
With the priests and the Bishop
da Carmel boys
"Kapagod rin palang ngumiti sa kodakan!"
Bro. Utoy and Rev. Jhoen after the ordination
Congratulations, Rev. Jhoen, and keep us in your prayers!
Filed under: Religion | Tagged: community, fun, Liturgy, seminary, travel | 36 Comments »