Diocesan Seminarian is ordained a deacon by Bishop David Talley –

Seminarian Joseph Hastings continued down the path toward the priesthood with his ordination to the diaconate on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Bishop David Talley presided over the Mass and ceremony before the congregation that gathered to witness this very important milestone for all seminarians.  Becoming a transitional deacon is one of the last steps before Hastings is ordained a priest next year.

As part of the Rite of Ordination, the candidate was called forward after the Gospel reading and before the bishop’s homily. Our diocesan vocations director gave a formal testimony of his readiness for service, which was accepted by Bishop David.

Hastings then offered his commitment to perpetual celibacy, followed by the promise of the elect to respect and remain obedient to the bishop and his successors. This promise to remain celibate is permanent for transitional deacons who are on the road to becoming priests. Conversely, permanent deacons who serve in many diocesan parishes are married.

After a Litany of Supplication to the saints, there was a laying on of hands and the prayer of ordination. The scriptural gesture of the bishop laying hands on the heads of the candidates is used by the Church to signify the special conferral of the Holy Spirit, which ordains men to service in Holy Orders. The new deacon thus entered into the clerical state through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

In the prayer of ordination, Bishop Talley asked God to dedicate Hastings to the service of the altar and the word. The ceremony of investiture with the stole and dalmatic signified incorporation into Holy Orders. The dalmatics and stoles are signs of the ministry and office of the deacon in the Church.

In the handing on of the book of the Gospels from the bishop, placing the book in the hands of the new deacon symbolized his commitment to proclaim God’s word.

The Rite of Ordination concluded with a fraternal kiss of peace from the bishop, who extended his greeting to the new deacon as a sign that they are co-workers in the ministry of the Church. The other deacons in attendance also gave the sign of peace to the newly ordained.

As an ordained minister, our new deacon is now able to baptize, assist the priest and read the Gospel during Mass, give homilies, witness at marriages, preside at funeral vigils and graveside services, and offer certain blessings. But until Hastings is ordained a priest, he cannot celebrate Mass, hear confessions or anoint the sick.

And while no vow of poverty was taken, he as a deacon is expected to live life simply without an excess of material possessions.

Let us always remember to hold Joseph Hastings in our hearts and in our prayers as he finishes his preparation to shepherd us all in this great Diocese of Memphis.


Photos by Gragg Higginbotham

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