By Emily Drooby
Ten men became deacons in the Diocese of Brooklyn over Memorial Day weekend. Among them was Antonio Gordon and John Kramer. They both risked their own health to keep the city running during the pandemic.
John is a teacher at Archbishop Molloy High School. Antonio is a nurse with 40 years of experience in healthcare.
“Just being in the field where you can make a difference for people, accompany them in their plight and their pains, has been really uplifting,” Antonio said.
Now, they’ll both continue to make a difference in people’s lives as deacons.
“I really hope to witness my faith and communicate what the Church has to offer everyone,” John said.
Both had to study and prepare for this moment during the pandemic, but nothing was going to stand in their way so they could serve others.
“It was a really long journey, but I just always felt the tapping from God and needed to answer it,” said John.
Antonio was thankful.
“I’m just so grateful that I’m having the opportunity to serve God,” he said.
Eight other incredible men were ordained to the permanent diaconate May 29 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. The ordination itself was very busy but also felt similar to pre-pandemic times.
All of the ten deacons have different jobs and backgrounds, like Robert Fedorowicz who emigrated to the U.S. about 20 years ago from Poland.
“I’m speechless. I’m just thinking what the next day will bring and praying that I will fulfil God’s will,” Robert told Currents News.
The permanent diaconate means they will stay deacons and are not on the path to priesthood.
As Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio explains, they’re an essential part of a parish.
“They represent God’s people,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “They can relate to people. They are in the parishes. They’re the stability sometimes in the parishes. Many times, the pastors move, but they stay. They live there, that’s their commitment.”
Deacons can also do the following: baptize; witness marriages; perform funeral and burial services outside of Mass; distribute Communion; preach the homily; teach the faith; and visit the sick.
It’s not easy to get to this point because it takes years of studying and hard work. However, surrounded by family, friends and clergy, the hard work paid off as these men took on a role that will bring them joy for the rest of their life.