Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

  • Nicholas Goodly, left, from St. John the Evangelist Church, Hapeville, and Timothy Dimond, right, from St. Benedict Church, Johns Creek, lie prostrate in the center aisle at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta. They were ordained to the permanent diaconate with six other candidates on Jan. 26. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • (Clockwise, from left) Deacon José Espinosa, associate co-director of formation, and Deacon Dennis Dorner, permanent diaconate director, pray with the eight permanent diaconate candidates before their Jan. 26 ordination. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • (Foreground, l-r) Timothy Tye, Randy Ortiz, Facundo Maldonado and Nicholas Goodly, four of the eight ordination candidates, can be seen as the clergy on the altar join the congregation in giving a standing ovation to all the candidates after their formal presentation during the Jan. 26 rite of ordination to the permanent diaconate. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • Four of the eight ordination candidates, (foreground, l-r) Timothy Dimond, Stephen Gross, Thomas Nemchik and Guillermo Hedy Sevilla, can be seen kneeling before the altar as Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory conducts the prayer of consecration. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • Standing on the Cathedral of Christ the King plaza for a group photograph following the rite of ordination to the diaconate are (l-r) Deacon Dennis Dorner, permanent diaconate director, new deacons, Randy Ortiz, Nicholas Goodly, Timothy Tyre and Facundo Maldonado, Bishop Bernard E. Shlesinger III, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB, of St. Bernard Abbey, Cullman, Alabama, new deacons Stephen Gross, Guillermo Hedy Sevilla, Thomas Nemchik and Timothy Dimond, and Office of the Permanent Diaconate associate co-directors of formation, Penny Simmons and Deacon José Espinosa. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • When the Archdiocese of Atlanta's newest permanent deacons administered first blessings to their waiting spouses on the plaza by the front entrance to the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, the moment was followed by joy in the form of hugs and kisses. Photo By Michael Alexander

Nicholas Goodly, left, from St. John the Evangelist Church, Hapeville, and Timothy Dimond, right, from St. Benedict Church, Johns Creek, lie prostrate in the center aisle at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta. They were ordained to the permanent diaconate with six other candidates on Jan. 26. Photo By Michael Alexander


Archbishop ordains eight men to permanent diaconate

By ANDREW NELSON, | Published January 31, 2019  | En Español

ATLANTA—Eight men were ordained to serve as permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of Atlanta on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

Speaking before the congregation and the men, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory charged the deacons to fulfill their ministries as “icons of Christ the servant.”

Their ministry in the diaconate will take them to prisons, to the homes of those grieving, and to parents of infants and believers seeking baptism, he said. The men will learn there is a hunger in the human heart “for meaning, for direction, for belonging,” Archbishop Gregory said. “As deacons, your first ministry is that of Gospel charity.”

The Peachtree Road cathedral was filled with several hundred family members and friends of the men. The ordination with the laying on of hands of the archbishop comes after years of study and immersion into the life of the church.

Ordained that day were Deacons Timothy Dimond, Nicholas Goodly, Stephen Gross, Facundo Maldonado Amaya, Thomas Nemchik, Randy Ortiz, Guillermo Sevilla and Timothy Tye.

Regina Roman, who attends the Buckhead church, was there to support Deacon Nicholas Goodly. They have known each other for a dozen years but are “lifelong friends now.”

The deacon taught Roman’s children martial arts at a Boys & Girls Club. She said he was always putting himself out, willing to step in to serve the children and adults.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory presents the Book of Gospels to Deacon Thomas Nemchik. Deacon Nemchik is assigned to serve at St. Philip Benizi Church in Jonesboro. Photo By Michael Alexander

“If you asked, he was there. He was a very good leader, even to us adults,” she said. “He is humble and direct in helping you to seek what you are trying to find.”

Attending the ordination was important to her.

“I would have gone to Alaska if it was there, for sure. Absolutely,” said Roman.

David Sevilla watched his father, Guillermo “Hedy” Sevilla, be ordained. The 30-year-old attends All Saints Church, Dunwoody.

“He’s a very devout Christian, father, husband. He’s definitely the rock of the family,” Sevilla said about his dad.

As a young man, his father attended seminary in his native Philippines. Sevilla said his father’s pursuit of the diaconate years later was not a surprise.

“I knew he was always headed that way,” said Sevilla

The younger Sevilla said he felt his father’s history as an immigrant would help build links to others and add to the diversity of the community.

Sevilla described his father as patient and also determined. He recalled his father during studies for the diaconate staying up until 1 a.m. before going to bed to rest a bit before his work as an accountant.

“Whatever he sets his mind to, that’s what he’ll do,” he said.

A task for many hands

Shannon Zieg, the parish administrator at St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Jackson, said parish members have been getting to know Deacon Steve Gross, who travels to the small parish some 50 miles south of Atlanta. Zieg said she’s seen the deacon has a gift to “talk to people, listen to them, and get the message of Jesus out.”

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory lays hands upon permanent diaconate ordination candidate Stephen Gross, from St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Jackson. Photo By Michael Alexander

In the rich tradition of the rite of ordination, the men promised obedience to the archbishop and prostrated themselves face down on the marble floor of the cathedral as the congregation prayed for them.

Later, Archbishop Gregory placed his hands upon them and prayed and consecrated them as deacons. Soon after, the men were vested with a stole that drapes diagonally across the chest and a dalmatic, the vestment worn during liturgies.

In his homily, Archbishop Gregory said, “Serving God’s people has always been a task that takes many hands.”

Deacons were part of the early Christian community, he said, with a ministry that was “both a necessity and a grace.” Since its earliest history, charity was the focus of the diaconate’s efforts.

“Deacons are servant ministers in the very image of Christ Jesus,” said the archbishop.

He thanked the deacons’ wives and children for their role in supporting the men’s vocations and called them an “indispensable component” of the ministry.

He said the deacons must see prayer as a vital part of the ministry, which will shape the rest of their efforts, from serving people in need to serving at the altar.

In their work as deacons, the archbishop said the men must not allow that “people’s hungers go unnoticed, their nakedness go unattended and their sorrows go unconsoled.”