Bishop John Noonan by the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit will ordain for the order of priesthood: Deacon Mark Librizzi, Deacon Thomas Wanitsky and
Deacon Bernard Ngila on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at St. James Cathedral. All are invited to attend.
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Three transitional deacons from the Diocese of Orlando are preparing for an important moment in their faith journeys as they await their ordination to the priesthood on May 26 at St. James Cathedral. Deacon Mark Librizzi, Deacon Thomas Wanitsky and Deacon Bernard Ngila have been studying at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, and they will soon receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and devote their lives in service to Jesus Christ and the people of God.
“the focus is on God”
After his ordination as a transitional deacon on April 30 of last year, Deacon Mark Librizzi served over the summer at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Orlando. He then completed his final year of formation while serving as a deacon at a parish in Royal Palm Beach. The experience allowed him to see firsthand the needs of parishioners and he has had the privilege of serving at occasions of great joy such as baptisms and great loss such as funerals.
During his formation, he has always asked God for guidance and as the reality of becoming a priest approaches, his prays that God will continue to guide his ministry.
“God please let me do what you know is needed. Whatever it is that you know your people need let me do it as you see fit,” said Deacon Librizzi.
Originally from Titusville, Deacon Librizzi’s has immediate family in Central Florida, extended family from other parts of the country, plus college friends from Auburn University who plan on attending his ordination.
“I was telling one of my friends to keep in mind that this is not about me at all. I’m thanking them for all the years of support,” he said. “For us the focus is on God and on the people who have always been there for us.”
“Christ did not come to serve but to be served”
Born and raised in Kenya, Africa, Deacon Bernard Ngila will have local friends participating in the celebration of his ordination Mass while his immediate family members will be praying for him halfway around the world.
“Every day they pray for me, they call me, they write me messages to tell me that they are praying for me, they are happy about it and they hope that I will visit them after ordination and celebrate Mass for them.”
Like his fellow transitional deacons, Deacon Ngila was assigned to a parish in the Diocese of Palm Beach during the academic year and he served as a deacon at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Orlando last summer.
As he moves closer to his ordination day, Deacon Ngila reflected on what other priests have taught him, “(I learned) the way to interact with the parishioners, the way you should honor other people, the way you should dedicate your service to other people,” Deacon Nigila explained. “Christ did not come to be served, but to serve….It’s not my ministry, but the ministry of Christ.”
“I am really excited because it has been many years studying for this, praying over this, and there’s also feeling of reverence being in the holy orders,” he said.
“bring people closer to Christ”
During his final year in the seminary as transitional deacon, Deacon Thomas Wanitsky served at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Palm Bay over the summer followed by two semesters at a parish in West Palm Beach during his final year of study.
“I have enjoyed serving the People of God, while gaining experience from serving at Mass, preaching, and performing a baptism in Spanish,” he said. “The past year has served to strengthen my vocation and affirm that I am being called to priesthood.”
Describing his years in the seminary, Deacon Wanitsky said, “I have been very fortunate to have been blessed with a wide variety of pastoral assignments…working at Bishop Grady Villas with developmentally delayed adults, visiting a nursing home, working in prison ministry, serving as a hospital chaplain, living in the Dominican Republic for six weeks, working with adults recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, in addition to working in parishes. They all have their unique challenges and rewards and have prepared me for the priesthood in their own individual ways.”
Deacon Wanitsky said his prayer as he approaches his ordination date is, “That I will always be able to bring people closer to Christ, and that everything I do will be God’s will, and not my own.”