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Diocese celebrates four transitional deacons

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CHULA VISTA — Cardinal Robert W. McElroy ordained four diocesan seminarians to the transitional diaconate and its “wondrous opportunities to be palpable instruments of the grace of God.”

The four were Christopher Bongato, Evan Bui, Marc Gandolfo and Matthew Vasquez, who each spent years preparing themselves to enter ordained life.

They were ordained on Dec. 17 at Mater Dei Catholic Church, virtually packed with family members, friends and dozens of clergy members from across the region.

“As the deacons and priests who are gathered here today can attest,” the cardinal said in his homily, “the joy of ordained ministry, the core of ordained ministry and the ultimate meaning of ordained ministry lie in the relationship to the community.

“In giving yourself so completely to God’s service today, you render back to God all of the talents and gifts that God has originally given to you.

“But the Lord will amaze you with the ways in which those talents and gifts can be magnified when joined in loving service to the specific communities of faith that will be entrusted to your pastoral care.

“You will discover wondrous opportunities to be palpable instruments of the grace of God and, in turn, will experience wondrous moments of truly feeling touched by God through the life of the community.”

The four will serve for at least six months as deacons before being ordained to the priesthood in June.

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