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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
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Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons

News of the Diocese

May 10, 2022

Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons
Two men ordained for ministry as permanent deacons

“We are here today because the Lord has given us what we need for our Church,” Bishop Edward Malesic said as he began celebrating the liturgy during which two men were ordained to the permanent diaconate for service to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

The ordination of Deacon Scott Cerrito and Deacon Michael Costantini took place on May 7 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

The bishop told those gathered, which included the families and friends of the ordinandi, their pastors, those involved in their diaconal formation, priests of the diocese and fellow deacons, that all ministry is work. “The ministry of a deacon is modeled after the example set by Jesus, who bent down to wash the feet of his disciples,” he said, adding, “He came not to be served, but to serve.”

Bishop Malesic stressed that the new deacons must “walk among the people you will serve. Accompany them on the journey for the good of your souls and give of yourselves for other.”

He also expressed thanks to their wives, Julie Cerrito and Francine Costantini, for also serving the Church and for sharing their husbands with the Church. “You are configured to your husbands in marriage so it is impossible to separate you from the vocation of your husband. Thank you for answering the call to be the wife of a deacon.”

In addition, the bishop noted that a deacon’s ministry of service may keep him from some family functions like sporting events and could cause him to miss or be late for dinners and other things. “Thank you to the children for sharing your father,” he added.

“You have been chosen,” the bishop said.

In the readings, Bishop Malesic pointed out that St. Paul talks about the need for humility and a spirit of gentleness and patience.

“There will be some days when the Lord will stretch you to the limits of your Christian heart. But that is necessary to allow your heart to enlarge and to grow. Stay close enough to the Lord to receive his word on your mind, in your heart and on your lips,” the bishop said.

He reminded the new deacons that their ministry is one of service through the word, sacrament and charity. “It is essential to teach what the Church believes without deviating from the Gospel, to be an evangelist for Christ,” he said.

Deacons also perform works of charity in the name of the bishop. In that regard, he advised them “not to wait until those in need come to you. You must go to them where they are, serve them as you would serve Jesus. And remember to serve the spiritually poor, too. Feed them with the food of the Gospel.”

The bishop encouraged the deacons “to find new ways to impose the beauty of Christ on his bride, the Church. And don’t stay behind the walls of the church building. You are in a unique position to go places that I can’t go,” he said. “You are a unique bridge between the life of the sacred and secular. Immerse yourself in the life of the people. Don’t walk above them.”

Bishop Malesic also had one more bit of advice for the newly ordained: “I only ask that you serve the Lord with gladness,” he said, echoing his episcopal motto.

After Mass, the newly ordained deacons and their families met the bishop in the rectory parlor where he once again offered his congratulations and appreciation for their ministry and sacrifice. Each deacon received a Book of the Gospels and his parish assignment. Families and the deacons also posed for photos with the bishop, Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries and Benedictine Abbot Gary Hoover, OSB.

Deacon Cerrito, a parishioner at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Hinckley, is a retired police officer who is pastoral staff coordinator at St. Albert the Great Parish in North Royalton. He is assigned to serve at St. Colette Parish in Brunswick. He and his wife Julie have two sons.

Deacon Costantini, a parishioner at St. Barnabas Parish in Northfield, is a software sales manager. He and his wife Francine, who serves as director of youth ministry for the diocese, have two sons – one of whom is a student at Borromeo Seminary – and a daughter. He is assigned to serve at St. Barnabas Parish.

In 1968, St. Pope Paul VI approved renewal of the ministry of permanent deacon as an active, permanent order of ministry in the United States.

Ordained deacons are assigned to parishes in the diocese and they may administer baptism, serve at the altar at Mass and distribute the Eucharist; bring the Eucharist as viaticum to the dying; read the sacred Scriptures to the faithful and on occasion, to preach; to preside at the Church’s public prayer; to administer sacramentals; to assist at and bless marriages and to officiate at funeral and burial rites. The men experience a year as an aspirant before acceptance to the four-year formation program. They study at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, which is based at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe.

Click here for more information on the permanent diaconate or call the diaconate formation office at 440-943-7652.

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