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Four Begin ‘Journey of Service and Leadership’

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CELEBRATION: Cardinal Robert W. McElroy ordained four men to the permanent diaconate on June 1 at Our Lady of Grace Church. Left to right, Mario Diaz, Don Meziere, Brian Anthony Wong, and Victor M. Villagomez. Auxiliary Bishops Michael Pham and Felipe Pulido accompanied them. (Photo by John Andres.)

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EL CAJON — Faithful from the four corners of the Diocese of San Diego converged at Our Lady of Grace Church on June 1 for the ordination four men to the permanent diaconate.
The ordained were Mario Diaz, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Chula Vista; Don Meziere, St. Mary Parish, Escondido; Victor M. Villagomez, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, San Ysidro; and Brian Anthony Wong, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Imperial.
“All took such different journeys to this wonderful moment of ordination,” said Cardinal Robert W. McElroy in his homily, briefly retracing each man’s path to the diaconate. “Now, from this moment forward, they will be on a common journey of service and leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ.”
He cited the first reading ,“The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-9).
“These words are a powerful foundation for missionary discipleship for every member of our church,” he continued. “For you, on this day, a new dimension is emblazoned in your hearts and souls. It is the call… to truly be the image of Christ, serving the poor, the marginalized, dispossessed. Sacrificing yourself. Preaching the Gospel.”
The Cardinal said that in this moment in the history in the Church, and in our nation, the deacon has a critical role in in “always witnessing to and promoting the unity of the Church, and of the heritage that binds us together in one faith, one baptism, one God.”
“In your preaching, your advocacy, your leadership within the parish community, and your presence in the world, the centrality of unity and the recognition of its truest foundation must be reflected in all you do.
The Cardinal concluded by noting that the four men had come to ordination day “by tremendously different pathways, in fits and starts.”
“You leave this church on a common path: of proclamation, service, compassion, hope, sacrifice and joy. May the Lord bless you and your families always, and may the Lord bless, through your ministries, the whole of the Church in San Diego and Imperial counties.”

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