15 deacons are ordained as part of the ‘Hands of Christ’ class of 2015

By Staff     10/27/2015

A total of 15 men were ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Orange Oct. 17 by Bishop Kevin Vann at St. Columban Church—all members of the “Hands of Christ” deacon class of 2015.

“We are blessed to welcome so many new deacons into the permanent diaconate within our diocese,” said Bishop Vann. “These unique individuals will assist in serving the ever-growing and important needs of our flock, with particular focus on the acute needs of the poor and marginalized in our community. They will continue the mission of the diaconate, striving to be a living reminder of Christ the Servant’s presence in the Church and world.”

The role of the permanent deacon in the Catholic Church calls on an individual to dedicate himself completely to a life of Christian service through the Sacrament of Holy Orders—a lifelong commitment to service that is primarily dedicated to charity and social justice. A deacon may also baptize, officiate at marriages and funeral services, assist and preach in the liturgy and preside at various community devotions. A permanent deacon is an ordained minister that may be married, maintain his current job and preserve his regular family life.

The diaconate traces its roots back to the early days of Christianity. However, the role of a permanent diaconate faded over the next several centuries until it was no longer practiced in the Catholic Church; it survived merely as a transitional step to priestly ordination. The Order of Deacon was restored by Pope Paul VI on the feast of Saint Ephrem the Deacon on June 19, 1967, in accordance with the will of the Second Vatican Council. The United States Catholic Bishops Conference (USCCB) reinstituted the permanent diaconate in 1968 following the pope’s decree. Since that time the number of deacons has quickly grown from around 800 in 1975 more than 18,000 in 2012 according the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, writing of the ministry of the diaconate, said that “one of the great legacies of the Second Vatican Council was its renewal and encouragement of the order of deacons throughout the entire Catholic Church.

“The Second Vatican Council re-established the diaconate ‘as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy.’ The Sacred Order of deacons is to be a ‘driving force for the Church’s service or diakonia towards the local Christian communities, and as a sign or sacrament of the Lord Christ himself, who ‘came not to be served, but to serve.’

“In particular, the deacon and his wife must be a living example of fidelity and indissolubility in Christian marriage before a world which is in dire need of such signs.

“At the core of his spirituality, a deacon puts on Christ and is guided by the love of Christ in caring for all his charge: ’Charity is the very soul of ecclesial communion.’

“This service will include diocesan and parochial works of charity, including the Church’s concern for social justice.”


Ricardo Barraza (Iracema)  /  La Purisima

Steve Byars (Pamela)  /  Sts. Simon and Jude

Pedro Cardenas (Luz)  /  Holy Family Cathedral

Biviano Cordero (Elia)  /  Immaculate Heart of Mary

John Davies (Raquel)  /  St. Bonaventure

Dan Diesel (Allison)  /  Santiago Compostela

Angelo Giambrone (Cindy)  /  St. Vincent de Paul

Pete Lauder (Jan)  /  St. Juliana Falconieri

Tuan Nguyen (Tamminh)  /  St. Columban

Tim O’Donoghue (Michelle)  /  La Purisima

Humberto Ramirez (Julia)  /  Santiago de Compostela

Mike Shaffer (Rachel)  /  St. Angela Merici

Mike Stock (Rosy)  /  St. Edward the Confessor

Chua Tran (Ann)  /  St. Nicholas

Antonio Vasquez (Maria Elena)  /  St. Anthony Claret

Chau Tran

“I have come and seen where the Master lives, and I want to stay and serve him. I have cleared by mind of the notion of personal agenda, ready for the Master’s agenda.”

Steve Byars

“I have come to appreciate both the liturgical Church as well as the serving Church. We consist of the Mass and the sacraments, but also of detention and hospital ministries, charities and philanthropies. Neither part of the Church is complete without the other.”

Pedro Cardenas

“La iglesia viene con una tendencia cada vez más marcada a salir de su estructura física, ha podido darse cuenta que en vez de esperar a que vengan a evangelizarse o a mejorar sus conocimientos, puede también ir en busca de ellos.”

Humberto Ramirez

“Yo quiero entregarle mi vida al Señor y siempre llevar el mensaje del evangelio a otros y construir el Reino de Dios y que mis manos sean las manos de Cristo.”

Michael Stock

“I am counting on the sacramental grace of ordination, as well as the continued support of my wonderful wife Rosy and family to serve God as a deacon. It will be me, entrusting God’s mercy on my past, loving me today and trusting in his providence of the future.”

Ricardo Barraza

“Los diáconos son los ojos del Obispo, para vez más claro las necesidades de nuestra comunidades.”

Tamminh Nguyen 
(wife of Tuan Nguyen)

“If God calls my husband, God also calls me. If God chooses him, God also chooses me. It’s the same as God choosing Joseph for Mary and God choosing Mary for Joseph. The salvation of humanity was planned by God and was realized by God with the cooperation of the human couple of Joseph and Mary.”