PROVIDENCE — Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans on Saturday ordained two diocesan seminarians, Daniel M. Mahoney and Doan V. Nguyen, to the Transitional Diaconate, the last major milestone in their formation before their ordination to the priesthood.
Delayed by about four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rite of Ordination took place at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, where the mid-morning sunlight streamed in through the large rose window behind the altar, bathing the sanctuary in a warm glow. The ordination was live-streamed online.
In his homily, Bishop Evans spoke of how each has been called to perform holy duties in the same spirit that Jesus called upon the Levites in his day.
“Clearly understand, you have been chosen, you are called and you will be sent,” the bishop told them.
“Therefore, keep in mind, when you proclaim the Gospel, preside over public prayer, teach holy doctrine, administer baptism, assist at and bless marriages, bring viaticum to the dying, conduct funeral rites or distribute the Lord’s Body and Blood, you do so not in your own name, but in that whose name is above heaven and earth,” he noted.
Mahoney, 33, is the son of Terrence and Carol Mahoney, of St. Francis Parish in Wakefield. He has three siblings. Currently studying for the priesthood at St. John Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, he attended South Kingstown High School, CCRI, Rhode Island College and Providence College.
“After 7 years of formation and an extra five months due to a global pandemic, this day of Ordination has been incredibly humbling,” Mahoney told Rhode Island Catholic.
“I can honestly say that this has been the best day of my life. All of the studying, all of the prayer, all the years of formation had been leading towards today. However, it is not my work that brought this about. It is truly the work of God bringing me to this place.”
Mahoney expressed his thanks to all of those from around the diocese who have been praying for Doan and him.
“In a special way, I am thankful to those we do not even know. It is their prayers that have helped sustain us over these years. I look forward to serving the people of God as a deacon for this coming year.”
Nguyen, 34, is a native of Vietnam. His father is Thuc Van Nguyen and his mother is Mo Thi Le. He has five siblings. He is also currently studying at St. John Seminary. Nguyen attended Kim Son A High School in Ninh Binh, Vietnam, and Hanoi University.
“The Diaconate Ordination is a great blessing day for me. God loves me so much. He has chosen me and makes me His instrument for His work of salvation, even though I am unworthy for this gift. It is God’s unconditional love for me. I am very grateful for HIS love,” Nguyen said.
He called upon the words of Psalm 136:1 to express his joy: “Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”
Nguyen also offered his appreciation to all those who supported him and fellow seminarian Mahoney in their vocations to the priesthood.
“I am grateful to the Diocese of Providence, the Bishop, priests and seminarian brothers. I am especially grateful to Father Frank Santilli who has helped and supported me in my vocation since I was in Vietnam. To all, I humbly ask that they please continue praying for me and for more vocations to the priesthood.”
Deacons Daniel Mahoney and Doan Nguyen will continue their studies at St. John’s Seminary in preparation for priestly ordination.