The Ordination of transitional deacons celebrated May 29 — the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ — at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral brought two men to the final step to the priesthood.
Timothy Seavey and Daniel Cruz were ordained to the Sacred Order of Diaconate through the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.
Frank Cicero was also to be ordained on Sunday, but became ill with stomach issues and will be ordained on a different day, announced Vocations Director Fr. Paul Sullivan prior to the Mass. “Please keep him in your prayers,” he said.
In his homily, Bishop Olmsted outlined the responsibilities of the new transitional deacons.
“By God’s providence, and not just by chance, you are being ordained as deacons on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. As the Church throughout the world praises God for the gift of Eucharist, you are receiving the grace and the great honor to be ministers of the Body and Blood of Christ,” said Bishop Olmsted, noting the significance of the day. “As you minister the Body and Blood of Christ to your brothers and sisters, you will witness the Lord nourishing the faithful, making them holy, and uniting them in one bond of unity and charity.
“As deacons, that is, as ministers of Jesus Christ who came among His disciples as one who serves, do the will of God from the heart, serve the people in love and joy, as you would the Lord,” he added. “Never allow yourselves to be turned away by the hope, offered by the Gospel. Now, you are not only hearers of this Gospel, but also its ministers. Hold the mystery of faith with a clear conscience. Express by your actions the Word of God which your lips proclaim, so that the Christian people brought to life by the Spirit may be a pure offering accepted by God.”
The son of Frank Sanchez and Frances Cruz, Dcn. Cruz grew up in Kearny and lived in Hayden before moving to Mesa in 2006 to attend Arizona State University. He will be assigned to Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa for the coming summer, returning to St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver for the fall term, and is excited to be serving closer at the altar.
“My parish assignment is exciting and I hope to do many baptisms and blessings,” he said. “Serving in the parish as a deacon is something I look forward to.”
Dcn. Cruz felt called to the priesthood two years after being confirmed as an adult. As he drew closer to the Lord while visiting and bringing Holy Communion to the sick and serving the youth, he said his heart began preparing for an abundance of generosity.
“He called me at a time where two good crossroads intersected: path to seminary or teach biology at a public high school,” he explained. “With great freedom, I chose His invitation to enter seminary and in doing so, I not only entered into the mysteries of biological life, but the seminary opened my understanding of the interconnections of the mysteries of eternal life.”
Dcn. Seavey is the son of Leo and Kathryn Seavey and began discerning the priesthood while attending Mass and participating in parish ministry as a boy.
“As far back as I can remember, I have always been in complete awe of the beauty of God’s grace he offers through his priests,” he said. “Though discernment was indirectly fostered throughout my childhood, I had not been introduced to the concrete idea of entering into seminary life and formation for priesthood until high school. It was then, in my sophomore year, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit that I truly started praying about God’s will for my future and the call to serve him by sharing in his priesthood.”
Seavey’s summer assignment will be at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral and will return to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio in the fall.
“As a deacon, I look forward to baptizing, preaching, assisting at weddings, and serving God and His Church in the Diocese of Phoenix,” he said.