New Deacons Ordained for Diocese
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 1, 2020
ROCKFORD—“We are here for your ordination in the midst of the COVID outbreak,” said Bishop David Malloy the morning of Sept. 26 at the Cathedral of St. Peter as 13 men, accompanied by a few family members, gathered to be ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Rockford.
Aside from the small numbers allowed in the cathedral, sanitizer was heavily used in parts of the rite, including by the bishop before and after laying hands on each man’s head before praying the prayer of ordination over them as a group. 
Deacons must be blameless, not greedy, they must not be false-hearted.
They must hold to the faith with a clear conscience.
Let them be tested first, and if they prove themselves blameless, let them then serve as deacons.
— 1 Timothy 3:8-13
The deacons still received the Book of the Gospels in their hands as usual, but the traditional “kiss” of peace was a respectful bow by the bishop to them and by each new deacon to him.
“But for all those changes even in how we gather here, our hearts and our faith are focused this morning,” Bishop Malloy said in his homily. “We are still able to lift up our minds and hearts so that we recognize that what is happening here today is greater than and even beyond anything that we can see or in any way sense.
“There is a mystery to this ceremony and to your diaconate. ... You are inserted into a reality that goes back to the time of the early Church. ... You somehow are joined to the story and the first group of deacons described in Acts 6, our second reading.”
Bishop Malloy told the men to live up to the example of those first seven deacons.
“The Twelve (Apostles) do not say just take any group of seven,” he said. “Here, brothers, is a first hint not about your personal merit, but about the goal of holiness, of conformity to Christ that you are called to.”
He told the men before him, “Your task is service, but service transformed. You are modeled on and linked to Christ who came to serve, not to be served.” 
A deacon’s service, he said, is “made sacred by the imposition of hands and prayer,” adding that the service of a deacon has “expanded in its contribution to the life of the Church,” including that “in a special way you are ordained to help the bishop and his priests in their ministry.”
Bishop Malloy acknowledged the wives and their “special role” as “one of patience, of love for the Church” that will “involve prayer and perhaps sacrifice.”
He concluded by asking all who were present and all who were participating through the livestream of the ordination Mass to pray for the men and the Church.
“May they be the reputable men, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom” that has been demonstrated by deacons “since the first days of the Church,” he said.
Those ordained to the permanent diaconate on Sept. 26 were Jose Aguilar, Michael Alber, Neal Carpenter, Victor Carrera Solis, Robert Collins, Mark Ennis, Gregory Farrell, William Kearley, Kenneth Mullins, Christopher Nocchi, Timothy Pignatari, James Schilling and David Womac. 
One classmate was unable to attend and will be ordained at a date to be determined.
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