ROME—On Oct. 4, Ryan Browning of the Rockford Diocese was among 33 seminarians of the Pontifical North American College who were ordained to the transitional diaconate during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Archbishop John J. Myers, of the Archdiocese of Newark, a 1967 alumnus of PNAC, celebrated the Mass and was the ordaining prelate.
In his homily, Archbishop Myers referred to St. Francis of Assisi who was also ordained to the diaconate.
“We need only remember St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is today,” he said. “His life helped the Word to come alive in people’s hearts and minds and lives. One of his admonitions to his friars is timeless and appropriate for each of us today: ‘Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.’”
During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy and obedience to their diocesan bishop.
The new deacons will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood.
Archbishop Myers concluded his homily by addressing the new deacons, saying, “We depend on the handing on of a living faith, a living tradition joined to Jesus in his loving sacrifice … for he has chosen us, he has chosen you, my brothers, to be his friends and to bear fruit that will remain.”
The Pontifical North American College has served as the American seminary in Rome since 1859. It has formed more than 5,000 priests for service in dioceses around the United States, Canada, and Australia.
PNAC strengthens the bonds between Rome and local churches worldwide, and it allows its students to study the Church’s rich religious and cultural heritage at close range.