The Archdiocese welcomes with joy three men who were ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on Saturday. St. Joseph's Basilica was full of family, friends and well-wishers who gathered to witness the ordinations of Roger Reilander of St. Mary’s Parish in Red Deer, Gemelo Mella of St. Theresa’s Parish in Edmonton, and Hyland Fraser of Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove.

Deacons lie prostrate during ordination ceremonyIn his homily, Archbishop Smith reminded the three that as deacons, they will stand as reminders to all that "charity is the heart of the Church and animates all aspects of her mission." 

"Within the areas of the Archdiocese to which you shall be assigned, be always attuned to the suffering in your midst," the Archbishop advised. "Let there be no delay in your response to the needy. Let nothing stand between you and those who seek the service, consolation and hope that they rightly expect from the Church's sacred ministers.

Deacons Hyland Fraser, Gem Mella and Roger Reilander"In all that you do, seek to bring to others the joy of the Gospel. Sadness is today widely prevalent. What God wills for his people is joy. To guide you, ponder deeply and often the prayer of Mary, her great Magnificat, a beautiful hymn of joy. It grounds the joy of the Christian in the loving and merciful fidelity of God to his people. God looks upon us in our lowliness, he pours out favour, he remembers his promises to us, above all the promise of mercy. Our faithful God deals mercifully with his needy and sinful people, and will never abandon them because he remains always faithful to his covenant promises. Herein lies the source of our joy!

"Let those you serve know that God is ever near them. Much heartbreak and pain is caused by the experience of infidelity and abandonment. They must know that God will be always faithful and will never abandon his people, particularly in their moments of most acute need."

Read the full homily text