by Angelli Tugado and Dollie Basa
Of the seven sacraments of our Catholic faith, the Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, and Matrimony are the most commonly held in any parish church. But an ordination is a rare and distinct honor.
Thus it was for the Resurrection of Our Lord Parish (ROLP) as she hosted a Diaconal Ordination on that lovely sunny Thursday morning last 8 September 2011, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. It was a very special and solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided by Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop of Cubao. ROLP’s dear Rey Hector A. Paglinawan, who used to be called “Bro. Rey,” was raised to the Order of Deacons.
Brother Rey was assigned to ROLP in April and is instrumental in reviving and revitalizing the Parish Youth Ministry through the Jesus and Me (JAM) movement, home visitations, and participation in the youth Masses.
Now addressed as “Reverend Rey,” he is tasked as a deacon to assist the bishop and his priests as a minister of the word and of the altar. The Deacon’s ministry is to proclaim the Gospel, preach God’s Word, preside over public prayers, baptize, assist in marriages, give viaticum to the dying, and lead burial rites.
The Eucharistic Celebration began promptly at 9:00 in the morning with the bishop and around 15 concelebrants processioning to the altar as the “Celtic Alleluia” was sung by the 50-strong choir composed of seminarians from the San Jose Seminary, of which Rev. Rey is an alumnus. Among the highlights of the Ordination proper were the Litany of the Saints for God’s grace sung while the candidate lay prostrate on the church’s floor; the bishop’s laying on of his hands while reciting the Ordination Prayer, symbolizing the gift of the Holy Spirit being conferred on the ordinandus; the investiture with stole, a band of cloth worn by deacons across their chest from the left shoulder to the right hip, and the dalmatic, an outer liturgical garment; and the newly ordained deacon receiving the Book of Gospels, symbolizing his mission to minister God’s Word.
Toward the end, Rev. Rey addressed the congregation of around 400 with words of gratitude for all who had helped him in his long journey to the diaconate, as well as for the parish community who prepared for the big event. He then offered his prayer of thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary, leading the assembly together with Bishop Ongtioco, in singing the hymn to Our Lady, “Maria, Bukang Liwayway.”
In hosting the diaconal ordination for the very first time in the history of its 36-year existence, ROLP was indeed challenged. Its parish priest, Fr. Ronald Macale, also the Diocese’s Vocation Director, spearheaded the month-long preparations assisted by Bro. Daniel Dominguez and an ad hoc working committee composed mostly of members of the Parish Pastoral Council headed by Sis. Via Tanglao, the Parish Youth Ministry, and the Finance Council. The event also saw the unprecedented collaboration between the pastoral leaders and the barangay public officials and their tanod who helped maintain peace and order. Such remarkable cooperation, along with the support of parishioners, saw the hand of God at work and was a testament to the friendship that has deepened between Rev. Rey and the community that he so selflessly and cheerfully served and helped guide these past six months.