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Jude Nnadibuagha and Severinus Torwoe ordained as deacons

Nov. 6, 2019

By Jessica Hargrave
Contributing writer

LOWVILLE – The feeling of joy filled St. Peter’s Church as two seminarians were ordained as deacons. Jude Nnadibuagha and Severinus Torwoe received the sacrament of holy orders by Bishop Terry R. LaValley on Saturday, Oct. 26. Parishioners and clergy from around the Diocese of Ogdensburg traveled to St. Peter’s in support of the duo’s long journey towards priesthood.

Torwoe and Nnadibuagha were called forth by Deacon Ronald Pominville and were presented to Bishop LaValley by Father Christopher C. Carrara, director of seminarians.

Bishop LaValley then gave his homily which encouraged the diaconate candidates to be open to God’s spirit and inspire the faithful.

“We pray that the new deacons may be effective in action, gentle in ministry, and constant in prayer,” Bishop LaValley said. “These words express beautifully the Church’s desire that you, Jude and Severinus, allow yourselves to be constantly transformed and renewed by God’s Spirit so that your ministry in His Name will make a real difference in the lives of God’s holy people – their lives here on earth and into eternity.”

Bishop LaValley concluded his homily with inspiring words from Pope Francis in his Exhortation, The Joy of Love: “love understands, shows concern and embraces the weak.”

“As deacons of the Church and Ministers of Charity, this kind of love must motivate your ministry, particularly to those whose lives are especially difficult because of poverty, addictions, fractured homes, violence, or abuse,” Bishop LaValley added.

After promising obedience, Nnadibuagha and Torwoe laid prostrate on the floor in a pose of humility and self-sacrifice, while the choir and congregation chanted the Litany of the Saints.

Then, each candidate knelt before the bishop as he laid his hands upon their heads, a gesture as old as the diaconate itself, which originated at the time of the apostles. After the laying of hands and the prayer of ordination, the newly ordained deacons were vested with stoles and dalmatics, which will be worn while assisting during Mass.

Deacon Torwoe was vested by Father Albert J. Hauser, vicar foraine of the Essex Deanery, while Deacon Nnadibuagha was vested by Father James W. Seymour, vicar foraine of the Lewis Deanery. The two new deacons then received from the bishop the Book of the Gospels.

Men studying for the priesthood are ordained as deacons prior to beginning their final period of study before ordination to the priesthood.

Deacon Nnadibuagha attends Christ The King Seminary in East Aurora. Deacon Torwoe attends Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Representatives from both colleges were present at the ordination to show support.

Concluding the Mass, Bishop LaValley thanked those who traveled from far and near, and offered gratitude to the families of the newly ordained deacons who were unable to travel from their home countries of Ghana and Nigeria to join in the Mass.

The celebration continued after Mass with a reception where the two new deacons expressed to their supporters how happy they are to have reached this stage in their priestly formation.

“This is what I’ve been expecting for so many years and the Lord has answered my prayers and the prayers of the diocese, so I feel grateful,” said Deacon Torwoe who will serve St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga.

Full of smiles while he’s congratulated by parishioners in Lowville, where he will continue to minister, Deacon Nnadibuagha, said, “I feel so good. I’m very excited.”

The diocese currently has 13 men preparing for the priesthood.

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