May 18, 2018
Michael Lewis, a 4th year Theology student at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, and Miguel Perez, a 4th year Theology student at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, will be ordained to the Sacred Order of the Diaconate by Bishop Mark J. Seitz, D.D. on Friday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Transitional deacons―those who are preparing for the priesthood―serve at the altar, proclaim the Gospel, preach at Mass, and are custodians of the Chalice. As the example homily in the rite of ordination states, "Deacons will help the Bishop and his Priests in the ministry of the word, preside over public prayer, administer Baptism, assist at and bless marriages, bring Viaticum to the dying, and conduct funeral rites." They will become part of the clergy of the Diocese of El Paso and dedicate themselves to charitable works. Our new deacons will be engaged in parishes this summer and upon their return to their respective seminaries in the fall. Michael Lewis will serve at St. John the Apostle in Monahans, Miguel Perez will serve at Blessed Sacrament in El Paso. Deacons are to go about all of these duties in such a way that "you will recognize them as disciples who came not to be served, but to serve."
This is an exciting and challenging time for the Diocese of El Paso. Because the number of seminarians is increasing, so is our need to raise money for their education and living costs. The average cost to train one seminarian exceeds $35,000 annually. Each year, we need more than $1 million to assist our seminarians with tuition, room and board, healthcare and other expenses—including inviting more men to consider the priesthood. It also means annual ordinations for years to come and that is a rich blessing for the Diocese of El Paso. It's expected that between 2018-2023, 20 men will be ordained to the priesthood.
Since 2001, the Foundation has raised $15 million for endowment, raises approximately $1.9 million each year through the Progress Annual Appeal and $1 million annually from outside grants. The Seminarian Education Endowment Fund has a fund value of $2 million and our short-term goal is to grow the fund to $5 million to generate a $200,000 annual distribution for seminarian education. Your gifts to Progress and the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund will go directly to educating our future priests. By supporting the needs of today, we will carry on the rich heritage of those who came before us.
Join Bishop Mark and the priests of the Diocese of El Paso in celebrating the Mass of Ordination as these two seminarians are ordained transitional deacons on their way to the priesthood, and mark your calendar for the Ordination to the Priesthood of Germán Alzate and Victorino Loresca on Thursday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Patrick Cathedral.