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2019 Ordinations Published June 5, 2019

In CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS, BISHOP SALVATORE R. MATANO RECENTLY ORDAINED two DIOCESAN PRIESTs, one TRANSITIONAL DEACON ON THE PATH TO PRIESTHOOD, AND THREE PERMANENT DEACONS.

We begin with the Mass of Priestly Ordination: June 1, 2019

Above: Deacon Dermot Loughran holds the Book of the Gospels before the procession into Rochester's Sacred Heart Cathedral. Right: Then-Deacons Matthew J. Walter (left) and Daniel L. White process into the cathedral at the start of the priestly ordination Mass June 1.
Above: Deacon Daniel White waits to process into Mass. Right: Deacon White's family members stand during Mass.
Above: Deacon Matthew Walter waits to process into Mass. Right: Members of Deacon Walter's family make the sign of the cross during Mass.

Story by Jennifer Burke / Photos by Jeff Witherow

Two men joined the ranks of the priesthood for the Diocese of Rochester June 1, as Bishop Salvatore R. Matano ordained Father Matthew J. Walter and Father Daniel L. White during a liturgy at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Fathers Walter and White are answering God’s call during a time of unique challenges for the Catholic Church, Bishop Matano said during his homily. Despite these challenges, the role of the priest is the same at its core as it always has been: Priests are called to live among their people and share in their parishioners’ joys, sorrows, celebrations and tragedies, the bishop said.

Top left: Bishop Salvatore R. Matano delivers the homily. Top right: Deacon Daniel White is presented before Bishop Matano. Bottom right: Deacon Matthew Walter promises his respect and obedience to Bishop Matano and his successors.

In the video below, the candidates for the priesthood pledge their respect and obedience to Bishop Matano and to his successors. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

The two candidates prostrate themselves during the Litany of the Saints.

“The mission has remained the same: to restore, to reconcile; to console and to comfort; to bless, to teach and to sanctify; to welcome those who still seek Christ, as the church’s cornerstone, and to reach out to those whose wounds need to be healed by the church,” Bishop Matano said.

In the video below, the gift of the Holy Spirit for the priestly office is conferred upon the candidates through the Laying on of Hands. Members of the diocesan presbyterate in attendance line up to lay hands on the candidates to signify their incorporation into the priesthood. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

Top left: A priest lays hands on the head of Father Matthew Walter. Top right: Bishop Matano lays hands on the head of Father Daniel White. Bottom left: Father White is vested by Father Peter Van Lieshout. Bottom right: Father Walter is vested by Father Dennis Bonsignore.

In the video below, the newly ordained priests are vested with two signs of the office of the ministerial priesthood: chausibles, the outer vestments worn by priests at Mass, and stoles, which are long, narrow strips of cloth draped around the necks of priests when celebrating Mass or presiding at other liturgical ceremonies. The hands of the newly ordained priests are then anointed with Sacred Chrism as Bishop Matano says: "The Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, guard you and preserve you, that you may sanctify the Christian people and offer sacrifice to God." (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

Both of the new priests are lifelong Catholics who spent time in religious communities before discerning their calls to the diocesan priesthood. Father Walter grew up in Rochester, where Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Parish was his first church home. He attended Aquinas Institute and earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Nazareth College in Pittsford. He then spent several years as a professional church musician and another several years in a religious community in Florence, Italy, before becoming a seminarian for the Diocese of Rochester.

Father Walter celebrated his first Mass June 2 at Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Church. His first assignment will take him to Wayne County, where he will serve as parochial vicar at the parishes of St. Michael in Newark, St. Joseph the Worker in Lyons, Clyde and Savannah, and Blessed Trinity Catholic Community in Wolcott, Sodus and Sodus Point.

Above: Bishop Matano offers the fraternal sign of peace to newly ordained Father Matthew Walter. Left: Bishop Matano anoints the hands of Father Walter.
Father Edward Palumbos offers the fraternal sign of peace to Father Walter.
Above: Bishop Matano offers the fraternal sign of peace to newly ordained Father Daniel White. Left: Father White receives the chalice and paten from Bishop Matano.
Above: Abbot Gerard D'Souza, abbot of the Abbey of the Genesee, offers the fraternal sign of peace to Father Daniel White.

In the video below, the bishop presents the bread and wine to the newly ordained, pointing to the sacred duty of priests to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, uniting the Rite of Ordination with the centrality of the Most Holy Eucharist in the lives of the people of God. The bishop says, "Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered by God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord's cross. By the sign of peace, the bishop welcomes the newly ordained priests as co-workers in ministry. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

Father Walter said he is looking forward to being able to celebrate the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation.

“It’s such a powerful instrument of God’s mercy, to be able to bring God’s mercy to people so directly,” he said.

Father White likewise said he is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments. He grew up in Owego, where he belonged to St. Patrick Parish. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Buffalo, studied at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and spent several years as a friar in the California-Arizona province of the Order of Discalced Carmelites before becoming a diocesan seminarian.

Above: Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark looks on as Bishop Matano elevates the Eucharist. Left: The newly ordained join their brothers in the presbyterate abound the altar as Bishop Matano prays the Eucharist prayer.
Above: Fathers Daniel White (left) and Matthew Walter distribute Holy Communion. Right: A concelebrating priest holds a consecrated host.

He celebrated his first Mass June 2 at St. Patrick Church in Owego, where he will remain for his first assignment, as parochial vicar of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes.

“That will certainly be a humbling experience. I think it will be good for the parish to have someone from there, who they’ve been praying for all along,” Father White said.

Top left: Fathers Daniel White and Matthew Walter recess out of the cathedral at the end of Mass. Top right: Father White gives a blessing to Emma Klein following Mass. Bottom: William Griffen receives a blessing from Father Walter.
Newly ordained deacons fold their hands as they line up for a photo following the May 25 diaconal ordination Mass at Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Exactly one week earlier, Bishop Matano ordained four men to the diaconate on May 25, 2019.

Story by Mike Latona / Photos by Jeff Witherow

Despite steady rain and an occasional clap of thunder outside, the atmosphere was decidedly sunny inside Sacred Heart Cathedral on the morning of May 25.

There, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano ordained four men to the diaconate during a Mass lasting more than two hours. Joseph Martuscello was ordained a transitional deacon, moving one step closer to becoming a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, and Roger DeBell, William Goodman and Jonathan Schott were ordained permanent deacons for the diocese.

The quartet’s collective mood was particularly sunny as the Rite of Ordination concluded, prior to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. As the other deacons in attendance offered the newly ordained the fraternal sign of peace, they were welcomed into the Order of Deacons with words of encouragement and promises of prayers.

Above: Joseph Martuscello stands with his family at the beginning of Mass. Background: A stole, which a deacon wears over his left shoulder and fastens on the right, and a dalmatic, the outer garment of a deacon assisting at Mass, await the ordination ceremony.
Above: Roger DeBell is presented before Bishop Matano.
Above: Jonathan Schott listens to the homily. Right: Margaret and Christopher Schott stand with their father and other family members during Mass.
Above: William Goodman is presented before Bishop Matano. Background: William Goodman prays with his family at the start of Mass.
“It was a nice opportunity to say thank you to all the deacons who had been praying for me for so long,” Deacon Schott said, adding that another special memory was engaging in prayer and conversation with his fellow soon-to-be-deacons in the moments just prior to the Mass.

For Deacon Martuscello, a personal highlight occurred as the liturgy began — “processing in, seeing my family and all the people who have supported me all these past years,” he said.

Above: Bishop Matano delivers the homily, which he addressed particularly to the candidates. Below: Deacon candidates stand following the homily.

In this video below, the candidates confirm their intention to serve in the Office of Deacon with clear consciences and prayerful spirits after the example of Jesus Christ. By kneeling before the bishop, the candidates also promise respect and obedience to the chief pastor of the diocese and his successors. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

One other profound moment occurred during the Litany of Saints leading into the ordination rite. As congregation members sang the litany, the four men lay still, prostrate on the cathedral floor.

“At that moment, it all really seemed to come together,” Deacon DeBell recalled.

Deacon Goodman added that he was humbled during that part of the Mass to have “everyone in the cathedral praying for us and all the saints praying for us, too.”

Adding to the emotion of the day was the deacons’ knowledge that they had completed a major milestone, after several years of preparation through study and field assignments.

“It exceeded any expectation and anticipation I had imagined,” Deacon DeBell remarked about his ordination, saying the only comparable events in his life were his wedding and the birth of his children.

The four candidates prostrate themselves during the Litany of the Saints.
Roger DeBell prostrates before the altar.

Deacon DeBell has been assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Penfield for his first assignment. He also is the principal at Thornell Road School in Pittsford. Deacon DeBell and his wife, Jody, are members of Pittsford’s Church of the Transfiguration.

For Deacon Goodman, the first assignment will be at the parish cluster of St. Agnes, Avon; St. Rose, Lima; and St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls. Deacon Goodman, a mechanic for Thyssen Krupp Elevator, belongs to St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Livingston County with his wife, Sheila.

Meanwhile, Deacon Schott’s diaconal ministry is being incorporated into his role as assistant director of campus ministry at St. John Fisher College. He and his wife, Jodi, belong to St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Irondequoit.

Above: Bishop Matano lays his hands on the head of Joseph Martuscello. Left: Deacon William Goodman (center) is vested by Deacon John Brasley.
Above: Bishop Matano lays his hands on the head of Roger DeBell.

In the video above, Bishop Matano lays hands on the head of each candidate. This liturgical gesture is handed down from the Apostles and signifies the conferral of the Holy Spirit. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

Above: Bishop Matano presents Deacon William Goodman with the Book of the Gospels. Right: Deacon Jonathan Schott is vested by Basilian Father Kevin Mannara.
Above: Bishop Matano presents Deacon Jonathan Schott with the Book of the Gospels.

In the video below, the newly ordained are vested by chosen clerics in their stoles and dalmatics. Then Bishop Matano presents each ordinand with the Book of The Gospels. At the conclusion of the ordination rites, the bishop extends to the newly ordained the greeting of peace. The deacons in attendance do likewise, welcoming the newly ordained into the Order of Deacons. (When finished viewing the video, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to return to this page.)

Above: Deacons in attendance line up to offer the fraternal sign of peace to newly ordained Deacons Roger DeBell (left) and Joseph Martuscello. Left: Bishop Matano welcomes the newly ordained into the Order of Deacons as they assume their seats among the other deacons.

Deacon Martuscello will serve for the summer at All Saints Parish in Corning/Painted Post, not far from his home parish of Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia in central Steuben County. He will return to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., this fall for his fourth and final year of theological studies.

Deacon Martuscello described his emotional state at the deacon ordination as “pure joy,” yet added that he seeks no personal credit for his vocation to the diaconate.

Offerings of bread and wine wait near the altar.
Bishop Matano elevates the chalice.
A member of the congregation prays during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

“This is nothing I accomplished. It’s all God; it’s a gift from God,” he said shortly after the Mass ended, as well-wishers gathered around him and the other new deacons near the cathedral’s altar.

“God is so good,” Deacon Goodman agreed.

Deacon Schott added that he felt overwhelmed by his ordination and all that went with it.

“I have every (positive) emotion, all of them,” he remarked.

Top left: Deacons Roger DeBell and and William Goodman distribute Holy Communion. Top right: Deacons Joseph Martuscello and Jonathan Schott distribute Holy Communion. Bottom: Family members congratulate the newly ordained deacons following the Mass.

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