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‘The Church Has Been Waiting for You’

Two Benedictine Monks Ordained to the Transitional Diaconate

Abbot Marcus Voss, O.S.B. and the Monks of Saint Bernard Abbey celebrated the Ordination to the Sacred Order of Deacon of two monks on Saturday, April 9. Rev. Brother Paschal Pautler, O.S.B., and Rev. Brother Pachomius Alavarado-Garcia, O.S.B., were ordained deacons by Bishop Steven J. Raica of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama in the St. Bernard Abbey Church. Several priests and deacons from the diocese, visiting monks and clergy, religious sisters, and many lay faithful attended the ordination.

Speaking directly to the candidates at their ordination, Bishop Raica said during his homily, “Just as you have been waiting for this day, the Church and this Abbey have been waiting for you. Today, the wait comes to an end, and another chapter begins - another journey launches for you. It is a journey that has moments of elation and great joy when you experience all the meaning and purpose of the diaconate as one of service - service to the Church and especially to this local community.”

The bishop offered some guidance and charged the candidates to “serve God with your heart,” to “give Him your all,” and to “serve with joy.” He concluded by expressing his gratitude: “My dear sons, thank you for saying “yes” to God’s call here at St Bernard’s Abbey.”

Rev. Brother Paschal was born in Birmingham and was educated by the Nashville Dominican Sisters at St. Rose Academy in Birmingham, before attending St. Bernard Preparatory School, an apostolate of St. Bernard Abbey. Rev. Brother Paschal entered the monastery after high school and has been studying for the priesthood since the time he made his first profession of vows as a Benedictine monk in 2015. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina, before entering St. Meinrad Seminary to earn a M.A. of Divinity.

Rev. Brother Pachomius was born in Perico, Cuba, where his mother still lives. Active in catechetical activities as a teenager in his hometown parish, he later pursued religious studies at Instituto María Reina in Havana, Cuba. As a young man, he moved to Colombia and entered Monasterio Benedictino de Tibati in Bogota, Colombia. It was there that he had his first contact with St. Bernard Abbey, through Father Joel Martin, O.S.B., who, at the time, was visiting the Colombian monastery on business. When Rev. Brother Pachomius later made his way to the United States, he contacted Father Martin and entered St. Bernard Abbey. Rev. Brother Pachomius has been studying at St. Meinrad Seminary to earn his M.A. of Divinity.

After their ordination, Rev. Brothers Paschal and Pachomius both served as deacons for the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week, assisting the abbot throughout the high holy days of the Sacred Triduum. As deacons, they are responsible for proclaiming the Gospel at Mass, preaching, assisting the priest at Mass and other liturgical rites, distributing Holy Communion, leading public prayer, and ministering with charity, especially to the sick and the poor. Deacons can also baptize, witness and bless marriages, and perform funeral and burial rites. As transitional deacons, Rev. Brothers Paschal and Pachomius will be ordained to the priesthood, God willing, in June of 2023. We ask you to keep these brothers in your prayers as they advance in their ministerial service in the Church!

‘The Church Has Been Waiting for You’ 2

To read Bishop Raica’s complete homily, click here.