Friday, June 19, 2015

What a weekend - III

     Last weekend continued with the glorious Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Greensburg of four men by our Diocesan Administrator, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt.  The ordination took place at 10:00 am at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.  These four men have been involved in an ongoing developing program that has seen their preparation span a time frame longer than most priesthood ordinations, and their persistence and patience, rooted in their faith and their call to service, is a testimony to the grace of God's love. 

     The four men ordained deacons are Stephen E. Black from Holy Family parish in Seward, Jeffrey Cieslewicz, my second cousin and a parishioner at our parish of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Huntingdon, William M. Newhouse of Saint Paul parish in Greensburg whom I have known for nearly twenty-five years, and Michael J. Orange of Saint Vincent Basilica parish in Latrobe.  All of these men received their degrees and training at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe.


     The Cathedral was filled with excited people ready to lend their support and prayers to these men and their families as they receive this great Sacrament of Holy Orders.  As we usually do, the liturgy was uplifting and prayerful, the music outstanding, and a number of our parishioners who had never attended an ordination were deeply impressed.

     I took time off of the Reunion weekend to attend the Ordination for three reasons: a) as a priest of the diocese I wanted to lend my support and give my affirmation to these men; b) Jeff being a relative and a parishioner brings this ordination close to my heart, and c) Bill Newhouse had asked me to help vest him in stole and dalmatic during the ceremony, for which I am truly honored.  It brought great joy to my heart to witness this sharing of sacramental grace upon the Church of Greensburg.

Helping vest Deacon Bill Newhouse

Greeting parishioner and cousin Deacon Jeff Cieslewicz

     Following Ordination I attended the reception that Jeff held back at the parish, before concelebrating our 4:00 pm Liturgy with Jeff's brother, Father Vince Cieslewicz of the Erie Diocese and Msgr Paul Fitzmaurice who joined us for Mass.  Jeff served as deacon and preached a great homily.  Our music ministry had prepared special music that was as always uplifting and vibrant, and our people responded with active participation and appreciation for Jeff's ministry.  The parish hosted a reception for Jeff in our parish hall following Mass.  We put Jeff to work by having him serve as deacon and preach both morning Masses, with the Seton Men's Group, of which Jeff is a member, providing coffee and donuts following each morning Mass.  It was a great day for Jeff, his ordination classmates, this Diocese and me and our parish family.

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