In preparation for their final stage of formation before ordination to the priesthood next June, four men were ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Nov. 23 at St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo.The four (and their home parishes) are Deacons Andrew Seungku Chung, St. Gregory Nazianzen, Los Angeles; Scott Corrie, Our Lady of Lourdes, Northridge; Christopher Mario Felix, Guardian Angel, Pacoima; and Juan Jose Ochoa, St. Patrick/St. Stephen, Los Angeles.In addition to their classroom studies at St. John Seminary (including philosophy and theology), the four men have been involved in service outreach activities, and have interned in parishes. Ochoa also completed his college studies over four years at Juan Diego House in Gardena before transitioning to the five-year program at the seminary. During the liturgy, the candidates were called forward from the body of the church and each answered “present” in his preferred language. Msgr. Craig Cox, seminary rector-president, announced that each man had been found worthy of ordination, and all in the church responded, “Thanks to be God.”Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, who presided at the ordination, presented to each candidate a Book of the Gospels, saying, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”In his homily, Bishop Wilkerson pointed out that those with the rank of deacon are now “ministers of the Gospel. These men, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, will help the bishop and his priests in the ministry of the word and of the altar, and will show themselves to be servants of all. As ministers of the Gospel they will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice, and distribute the Lord’s body and blood to the faithful.”It will be their duty over the next seven months, he continued, “to exhort believers and unbelievers alike” in their service, which will include presiding over public prayer, administering baptisms, assisting at and blessing marriages, bringing viaticum to the dying, and conducting funeral rites.“Consecrated by the laying on of hands that comes down to us from the Apostles,” Bishop Wilkerson said, “they will perform works of charity in the name of the bishop or pastor. They come not to be served but to serve. In other words, the Lord has set an example: Just as he himself has done, so also you should do.” In all the works that a deacon is to accomplish, none is more important than “to serve the people with love,” Bishop Wilkerson emphasized. “Service should be as natural as breathing. It is the common mission of all who have been baptized. Jesus’ word has to become our word; Jesus’ reality has to become our reality. It is in service that we are called. You must feed the hungry, the poor, the oppressed, the immigrant — Jesus in the disguise of humanity.”More about the new deacons will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Tidings.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/1206/transitional/{/gallery}