Deacon Carlos Sola and Deacon Israel Colon represented the Diocese of Orlando on a two-week mission in the Dominican Republic earlier this month.
The two deacons visited many communities in the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana to learn about the culture in the Dominican Republic; meet community members, young students and deacons of the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana to understand their needs; and pray with them. They also presented homilies during the celebration of Mass and assisted Father Fred Ruse with a number of responsibilities.
“They did a beautiful job of preaching, sharing and connecting,” said Father Ruse. “I encouraged them to do something I used to do: team-tag the preaching…I would do a part, sometimes the ‘story’ part, and (someone else) the application of the message to our lives. It made the Masses more dynamic and interactive, which is a natural norm here. They did it at the Mass here in La Cucarita and it was very well done.”
Deacon David Gray, director of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Orlando, said Deacon Colon, of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Casselberry, and Deacon Sola, of St. James Cathedral, were also there to find out the best way to help form catechists as leaders in Christ, so that they could continue to form the faith of others. Deacon Gray said that their mission is a call to evangelization as defined in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.
“These deacons are certainly getting a lot of information and digesting a lot of experiences,” Father Ruse said.