Becerra ordained as a transitional deacon
June 5, 2012
Becerra beamed with joy throughout the investiture, as his mother and sister not only sat proudly in the first pew, but also took part in the ceremony. His sister Elizabeth read the First Reading in English and his mother Teresa read the Second Reading in Spanish. The one sad note was the absence of his father Manuel who passed away more than 10 years ago.
Reading from Jeremiah, Elizabeth Becerra reminded his brother of the Lord’s endorsement, “Say not, ‘I am too young.’ To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.”
His mother Teresa read from Acts about the need of the disciples for assistants; “They presented these men to the Apostles who prayed and laid hand on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples…increased greatly.”
This year’s ordination took on special significance because it is the first time in a number of years that the Diocese of Corpus Christi will not hold a priest ordination. Bishop Mulvey, however, reminded the faithful that the current seminarians from the diocese were serving the Mass. The diocese currently has 13 seminarians, including a number of new faces recently accepted into the program.
Father Joseph Lopez, director of the Office of Vocations, assured Bishop Mulvey that Becerra was eligible to be received into the diaconate. The people then gave their approval, as well.
Becerra, in the presence of the Bishop and all the faithful, expressed his resolve to carry out his office in accord with the mind of Christ and the Church, under the direction of the bishop.
As Becerra lay prostrate on the altar floor, the faithful prayed the Litany of Supplication, which joins the Church on earth with the saints in heaven to beseech God on behalf of the candidate. Lying prostrate is a sign of humility and supplication that Becerra might be showered with the gifts of love and peace.
Through the laying on of hands by the bishop and the prayer of ordination, the gift of the Holy Spirit for the office of deacon was conferred on Becerra. Immediately after the Prayer of Ordination, Becerra was invested with the diaconal stole and dalmatic brought to the altar by his mother and sister. The investiture is an outward manifestation of the liturgical ministry he will fulfill.
The bishop handed Becerra the Book of Gospels, which signifies the office of the deacon to proclaim the Gospel in liturgical celebrations and to preach the faith of the Church in word and in deed.
With a fraternal kiss, the bishop sealed the deacons’ admittance into his ministry. The bishop’s embrace was followed by a fraternal kiss form other deacons present, a sign of welcome to Becerra in his entry to a common ministry in their Order.
After his investiture was complete, Becerra joined Bishop Mulvey to serve the remainder of the Mass. Among the first duties in serving the Mass, Becerra had the honor of giving his mother and sister the Blood of Christ.
“I am grateful to God for calling me to this vocation. I am also thankful to all the people involved in my formation, whether at seminary or at the parishes I have served over the years. I am also grateful for all your prayers and I look forward to serving you,” Becerra said.
The Cathedral’s Pontifical Chorale provided the music liturgy. A reception was held for Becerra in St. Joseph’s Hall after the ordination.
Bishop Mulvey has assigned Becerra to serve as parochial deacon at St. Phillip the Apostle parish in Corpus Christi, effective June 4-Aug. 3.