One of the most beautiful verses in all scripture are the beginning ones for today’s gospel and how fitting for this feast of the Most Holy Trinity. For God does so love this world that He sent His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. Let us rejoice in this fest today and in the knowledge that god does love us so much that He wants all of us to share with Him eternal life in heaven. So, may we live our years in this world seeking to believe and follow all that Jesus has taught us. That’s all that He has taught us, all the truths that will assure us a place in the kingdom of heaven.
This year on the feast of St. Anthony, June 13th, the church of our diocese will share in a special celebration: the ordination to the priesthood of Deacon Joseph James Martucello. Deacon Joe is the only deacon we have this year to be ordained to the priesthood and I invite everyone to share in congratulating Deacon Joe on this great day in his life… and for our whole diocese. May God bless him and guide him in his priestly ministry among us.
Deacon Joe is from Corning and will be ordained at St. Mary’s Church by Bishop Matano next Saturday. This event also brings to mind another time when an ordination was celebrated at St. Mary’s Church in Corning. It was on the last Saturday of May 1961. That year we had five deacons from the Southern Tier who were to be ordained to the priesthood and so that occasioned a special celebration in one of our local churches. You will know and recall the five deacons ordained that year. They are Fathers Edward Golden, William Hogan, Thomas Burr, Neil Miller and William Holberton. I had the privilege to be present for that ordination as I was a member of the St. Bernard’s Seminary Choir that sang for that special liturgy. Please God, I will also be present there this year to share in Deacon Joe’s ordination.
Even though we have only one deacon to be ordained to the priesthood this year it is still great cause for celebration and rejoicing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have maybe a few, even five, like we did 59 years ago? Remember, God has so loved the world that maybe our church may be blessed once again with an increase in vocation s that we do desperately need in the church today. All of us have a very important role to play in answering this need: our prayers daily that the Lord will call and many will respond and come to serve the Lord and His church. You know. I’m not getting any younger. Ha! Ha!
Let us all be reminded, too, on this beautiful feast of the most Holy Trinity that our life of faith is centered in the very life of the Trinity. When we were baptized in was in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Blessed Trinity play a great part in our lives. They are not abstract figures from a theology text book, they are the loving Father who has created us, the Son who redeemed us and the Holy Spirit that guides and nourishes us.
May these days leading up to Deacon Joe’s ordination next Saturday prompt each of us to pray for him and may the Lord bless him with many years of ministry.