Alexander Clark, Cameron Popik, Alexander Spenik and James Winings will move another step closer to their priestly ordination when they are ordained as transitional deacons on Aug. 7.
Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa will celebrate the invitation-only Mass. The liturgy will be streamed live at 7 p.m. on the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland website.
The men are in their fifth year of formation for the priesthood at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe.
Clark is the son of Ed and Ann Clark of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Akron.
Popik is the son of Robert and Jane Popik of St. Adalbert Parish in Berea.
Spenik is the stepson of John Kulesa and the son of Kimberley Kulesa of Mother of Sorrows Parish in Peninsula.
Winings is the son of Robert and Jean Winings of St. Dominic Parish in Shaker Heights.
All attending the Mass are to wear face masks/coverings and observe social distancing. Because of a reduced capacity in the church and assigned seating, invitations are required for the Mass.
After ordination, the new deacons will be assigned to a parish where they will minister for the final year of their formation and preparation for their anticipated ordination to the priesthood in 2021.
As deacons, they help the bishop and priests in the ministry of the Word, of the altar and of charity. They also can administer baptism, assist at the altar at Mass and distribute the Eucharist, bring the Eucharist as viaticum to the dying, read sacred Scriptures to the faithful and on occasion, preach.
Deacons also can preside at the Church’s public prayer, administer sacramentals, assist at and bless marriages and officiate at funeral and burial rites.
The ordination originally was scheduled for spring but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The liturgy will follow guidelines established for Masses celebrated during a time of pandemic, said Father Michael Woost, director of liturgy and dean of students at Saint Mary Seminary.
The Mass will include election of the candidates, consent of the people, promise of the elect, laying of hands, the prayer of ordination, investiture with stole and dalmatic (the vestment worn by deacons that is similar to the chasuble worn by a priest), litany of supplication (during which the ordinandi lie on the floor in front of the altar), handing on of the book of Gospels and the kiss of peace.
In addition to their families, invited guests include seminary faculty, fellow seminarians, the pastors of the ordinandi and diocesan hierarchy.