Archbishop Lori ordains permanent deacon, transitional deacon

May 23, 2016

By Erik Zygmont

ezygmont@CatholicReview.org

Twitter @ReviewErik

The soft morning rain of May 21, Preakness Saturday, served only to highlight buoyant spirits as Scott Rose and Kevin Ewing were ordained to the diaconate for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

“Both are the cause of our joy this ordination morning, coming as it does in the midst of the Year of Mercy,” Archbishop William E. Lori said in his homily at the ordination Mass, celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.

Deacon Scott Rose is now a permanent deacon for the archdiocese and will minister at St. John the Evangelist in Frederick, as well as at the Esperanza Center in Baltimore, where he has served as a pro bono attorney for immigrants, especially undocumented children.

Deacon Rose is the son of Deacon Alan Rose. The two are the first father-son combination to be ordained to the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.



Newly ordained Deacon Scott Rose embraces his father, Deacon Alan Rose, during the ordination to the order of deacon celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore May 21. (Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff)

Deacon Kevin Ewing was ordained a transitional deacon, the final step before his expected ordination to the priesthood next year. He will continue his service at St. John the Evangelist in Severna Park until September, when he will leave for Rome to continue his studies at the Pontifical North American College.

“I felt truly blessed by the experience,” Deacon Ewing said following his ordination. “I'm looking forward to celebrating both at my home parish and at the parish I'm working at.”

Mark and Elizabeth Ewing, who raised their son at St. John the Evangelist in Long Green Valley, expressed joy in his calling, which was not a huge surprise to them.



Archbishop William E. Lori performs part of the ordination rite on Deacon Kevin Ewing. (Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff)

“I was in the seminary years ago,” Mark Ewing said. “We knew once I married Elizabeth that my son would have to be a priest,” he joked.

“He's understanding, and he's compassionate,” Elizabeth Ewing said of Deacon Ewing. “He listens to people – he really does.”

Deacon Rose's family members were equally thrilled.

“I was a little surprised,” Austin Rose said of his father's calling, “but I'm really happy that he's done it.”

Studying at Georgetown University in hopes of eventually becoming an immigration lawyer, Austin Rose was the first of the family to volunteer at the Esperanza Center. When he learned of their need for pro bono attorneys, he turned to his father.

“(Deacon) Scott has already helped about 21 kids,” said Pedro Seguenza, a translator for Esperanza.

One of those young people was Ana Herrera, who came undocumented from El Salvador and now has a work permit and Social Security card.



Permanent Deacon Scott Rose, right, and Transitional Deacon Kevin Ewing, lay in prostration during the Litany of Supplication, part of the Ordination to the Order of Deacon celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore May 21. (Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff)

“(Deacon Rose) helped me; he's a great person,” said Herrera, who cantored the communion hymn.

Such works of mercy were emphasized by Archbishop Lori in his homily. 

“In the diaconate, the spiritual and corporal works of mercy are sacramentalized, for the diaconate is that rank in the sacrament of holy orders most closely identified with charity and with its traveling companion, justice,” the archbishop said.

“You will bring glad tidings to the poor,” he continued. “You will bring the wonderful news of God's compassionate love to the spiritually poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable.”

Watch a video about religious vocations; story continues below




Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, and Bishop William C. Newman, retired auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, concelebrated the Mass with the archbishop, as did priests from across the archdiocese, with assistance from deacons of multiple parishes.

During the liturgy, Deacon Ewing and Deacon Rose placed their hands in those of Archbishop Lori, promising respect and obedience to him and his successors.

In expression of their total dependence on God, the two men prostrated themselves on the floor before the altar as the faithful chanted the Litany of the Saints.

After the archbishop laid his hands on the new deacons, there were vested with the diaconal stole and dalmatic. Deacon Ewing was vested by Redemptorist Father James O'Blaney, and Deacon Rose by his father.

A deacon's regular duties include proclaiming the Gospel at Mass and preaching homilies. In addition, he administers the sacrament of baptism and witnesses weddings. A deacon may also preside at rites of Christian burial, at eucharistic exposition and benediction, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical rites.

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