Clerics Micha Miguel Lorenzo Competente, Jose Felix Peter Cortez, Sebastian Teofilo Gadia III, Paul Vincent Pio Octubre, and Oliver Mary Vergel O. Par were received to the Order of Deacons in the morning of June 6, 2020 at St. Paul Sanctuary in Makati. The ordaining prelate was Msgr. Nolly Buco, D.D., auxiliary bishop of Antipolo. Due to social distancing required at the time of COVID-19, the ceremony was done with simplicity. Only the bishop, the Provincial Superior Fr. Rollin Flores, and the assisting deacon Rev. Keiv Dimatatac officiated at the altar. The concelebrating priests, the SSP Makati community, and the family members of Micha Competente and Oliver Par remained in the back row. The rites were carried online to enable the families of the candidates to follow from their quarantined homes.
Bishop Buco gave a simple yet profound homily, focusing on prayer, humility and simplicity. The Superior General Don Valdir Jose de Castro sent his message from Rome. He quoted Pope Francis in pointing out the challenge for the new deacons: “The Holy Spirit wants to make us come out of ourselves, to embrace others with love and to seek their good” (Christus Vivit, n. 164)
Referring to the theme of the next General Chapter (“Let yourselves be transformed by the renewal of your mind”), Don Valdir said, “This comes from Paul’s Letter to the Romans and it calls us to assume the importance of a new way of thinking — that is to live and serve especially those who are wanting in authentic meaning in life. To them you are invited to give Jesus Master with every language of communication at present.”
Rev. Sebastian Gadia III who gave the thanksgiving message in the name of the group emphasized the great mercy of the Lord who guided them in the long period of formation that led to the diaconal ordination. Lunch was served at the Alberione Hall. While observing the protocols of social distancing, the community felt blessed by God’s gift of the new deacons.
Rev. Micha is assigned in the Creative sector of the apostolate and co-hosts the St. Paul Bible National Bible Quiz (SPNBQ) Review Shabbat edition, Rev. Jose Felix is the Prefect of Discipline in St. Paul Seminary, Rev. Sebastian is the editor of Halo magazine and co-hosts the program Dear Pablito, Rev. Paul Vincent is with the Provincial Services Office, and Rev. Oliver is likewise assigned to the Creative sector and writes scripts for the SPNBQ online program.