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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 14th, 2022, the diaconal ordinations of Daniel Kennedy (USA-Midwest), William McCormick (USA-Central and Southern), Robenson Siquitte (Canada-Haiti) and Erik Sorensen (Canada-Haiti), through the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit by the Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ.

Families and friends came to witness this great moment of joy and gratitude as our four men have responded to the call that will further entail them in the mission of service to those on the margins of our society. By choosing John 15:9-17 as the Gospel for the liturgy of the day, they are mindful of God’s unconditional love, 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)

By choosing John 15:9-17 as the Gospel for the liturgy of the day, they are mindful of God’s unconditional love, 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 Jesuit parish Our Lady of Lourdes of Toronto was reverberating in its splendor as the procession consisting of the servers, the ordinands, some deacons, the concelebrants priests, the Rector of the theologate Mike Rosinki, the Provincial of Canada Erik Oland and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast proceeded with a joyous stride to begin the celebration. It was the very first ordination of the Province of Canada with a large number of the faithful after two years of strict sanitary restrictions imposed by COVID-19. However, the latter is not quite over yet. Therefore, the organizers still maintained some adequate sanitary measures. Indeed, the liturgy of the ordinations not only expressed the joy of the Risen Lord, but also greatly enhanced the hope of a world terribly affected by the pandemic.

The diaconal ordinations imply a call to self-emptying, manifested throughout the whole liturgy. Thus, before the homily, Father Rosinski presented the candidates to Archbishop Prendergast and asked him to admit them, having 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 the people of God. As companions of Jesus, Dano, Bill, Robenson, Erik, understand that “our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and as a body.” (GC 34, Decree II, No. 15). Therefore, they are called to bear witness to a vibrant faith that engages their whole being as they are united by a common love for Christ that does justice.

As companions of Jesus, Dano, Bill, Robenson, Erik, understand that “our service, especially among the poor, has deepened our life of faith, both individually and as a body.” (GC 34, Decree II, No. 15). Therefore, they are called to bear witness to a vibrant faith that engages their whole being as they are united by a common love for Christ that does justice.

During a conversation with them, they expressed their desire to continue the journey with Christ as humble servants of His mission. Robenson said that he is ordained a transitional deacon so that the message of Christ can be known everywhere. As for Sorensen and Dano, 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 those who are marginalized and deprived. Bill confessed his great joy as he conceives his ordination as the deepest grace that enables him to serve in a mission that does justice and hope.

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. 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 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 strength of the deacons in their new ministries. As Dano and Bill, Robenson and Erik lay faced down on the floor, the whole assembly prayed to the saints for spiritual support on them as they are 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 the apostolic succession, the deacons were invited by Archbishop Prendergast to express in actions what they proclaim by 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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