Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley kneels while ordinands Daniel P. Moloney, Guy F. Sciacca and Gregory G. Vozzo lie prostrate during the singing of the Litany of the Saints. The three men were ordained transitional deacons Jan. 30, the last major step before their ordination to the priesthood in May. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
BOSTON -- The three men who will be ordained to the priesthood in May took their last major step toward the altar this week.
Guy Sciacca, Daniel Moloney, and Gregory Vozzo were ordained to the diaconate for the Archdiocese of Boston by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
“I was praying all during the Mass I could be as perfect an instrument as possible to our Lord and correspond to the graces of the sacrament,” said the newly-ordained Deacon Moloney.
“God has blessed me so much along my way. I know with this grace of Holy Orders, He is going to continue to do that,” added Deacon Vozzo immediately following the Mass. “I will derive my strength from the Lord and all who have supported me.”
Deacons Sciacca, Moloney, and Vozzo are in their final year of formation in the seminary, and are set to be ordained to the priesthood this May.
During his homily, Cardinal O’Malley stressed the three virtues of a transitional deacon’s life -- celibacy, obedience to the bishop, and prayer.
“Celibacy must be an act of self-giving, an act of love -- love for the Lord, love for His people and for His Church,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his homily. “It will free you for the things of the kingdom and make you available to serve people noblest of all, especially those who are most in need.”
Prayer, Cardinal O’Malley said, is a vital part of the deacon’s commitment to celibacy. He encouraged the transitional deacons to pray the Liturgy of the Hours because he said it would keep them connected to the Church year.
“Our life of prayer is what nourishes our faith and keeps us strong in our commitment to the Lord,” the cardinal said. “The secret of your happiness in service of the Lord rests in a great part on the seriousness in which you commit yourself to daily prayer.”
Cardinal O’Malley also stressed the virtue of obedience to the ordinands, reminding them that Jesus became obedient to the point of crucifixion.
“Obedience in the Church is a form of unity,” he said. “It’s what binds our ministries together.”
“Remember that real obedience is doing difficult things in love,” Cardinal O’Malley continued. “True obedience brings peace to our hearts.”
He said that, above all, the ministry of the diaconate is about service to the Church and her people.
Following the Mass, the newest deacons spoke of how the virtues that Cardinal O’Malley emphasized in his homily will play a part of their lives as ministers of the Church.
Deacon Sciacca is a seminarian at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston and will assist at Holy Trinity Parish in Quincy. He said he will rely on the Lord for the help he needs in serving the Church.
For Deacon Sciacca, obedience is the top virtue.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about service to the Church.”
“By being obedient, I have to put myself out for the service of others,” he added.
Deacon Moloney, who has studied at St. John’s Seminary and assists at St. Joseph Parish in Needham, stressed obedience.
“That was very easy for me,” Deacon Moloney said. “I think the cardinal is a very holy bishop. I grew up in Ohio. It was partly my encounter with him that made me want to be a priest in Boston.”
Deacon Vozzo, also at St. John’s but assisting at St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, stressed the importance of prayer.
“Prayer is so critical to any ministry that we do, especially when it is done in the name of Jesus in service to the Church,” Deacon Vozzo said. “Through prayer, I offer myself completely to God, and with that, to his servants -- the bishops and priests.”
“I know that with the help of God I can be generous, and he can give me all that I need to do this faithfully,” he added.
Cardinal O’Malley also spoke of the origins of the diaconate ministry, harkening back to the early Church and spoke of the ministries of Sts. Stephen and Philip, two of the first deacons immediately following the death of Christ.
“I hope I can follow in their example of boldness -- boldness in the apostolate,” Deacon Moloney said.