Venice seminarian takes a big step on his long road to the priesthood

Linda Reeves – Florida Catholic correspondent

4/9/19

The journey to the priesthood for one seminarian began in Haiti and meandered throughout several countries. However, April 6 he was ordained a transitional deacon, one small step on his spiritual journey.

“This ordination for me is a moment of grace, a time of thanksgiving to God for his fidelity to me,” said Diocese of Venice Seminarian Franckel Fils-Aime, who was ordained by Bishop Frank J. Dewane at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Boca Raton.

Bishop Dewane ordained a total of 15 seminarians of different seminarians from Florida arch/dioceses, most being from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. The Church was filled with family members, friends, guests, seminary faculty and leaders, priests and brother seminarians, all a witness of great support for the candidates soon to be ordained to the diaconate and to the Church.

The Bishop noted the special reason for the Mass and went on to say: “We celebrate your presence here today… of who you are, and who you are becoming.”

During the homily, Bishop Dewane explained that the ministry is much more than taking on specific Church duties. “What you are called to do is to reflect the love of Jesus Christ,” he said. “You are called to demonstrate this love in many ways; this you do with the help of the Holy Spirit.”

The Bishop also encouraged the men to “sow hope and trust in the Lord. You will teach Holy Doctrine to others but must be men of God and examples of living a life of prayer, high moral values and faith. May God bless each one of you for this decision you have made in your life and for your blessedness going forward.”

During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy and obedience to their Diocesan Bishop. Deacon Fils-Aime will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before petitioning for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2020. As part of the ordination rite, the Bishop placed the Book of Gospels in the hands of each candidate being ordained and said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Deacon Fils Aime was joyful afterwards and reflected to the day so long ago when he told his parents about his vocation decision.

“They were praying that God would call one of their children to the priesthood, and even more happy because I am the oldest son,” Deacon Fils Aime. “They understand as the Bible says, the first fruit is for God. I thank my family here in United States and in Haiti for their prayers and support.”

Born in Cornillon (Potino), in west Haiti, Deacon Fils-Aime celebrated his 40th birthday one month ago. The son of Voguel Fils-Aime, residing in Haiti, and the late Philomène Remy, he is the oldest of nine. His father and two siblings were present for the ordination.

From a young age, the new deacon felt at home in the Church and first met Jesus through the Sacraments while witnessing the ministry of the priests who served as examples of Jesus Christ’s love and mercy. “I heard the voice of God calling me for His services.”

Deacon Fils-Aime began formation at age 26 with the Order of Friars Minor. He lived in community with the Franciscan Capuchins and continued to study and discern in the Dominican Republic and Brazil. It was in 2014 when he heard God calling, loudly and clearly, to become a diocesan priest. He subsequently joined the Diocese of Venice in 2015.

Now carrying the new title of Deacon, this last phase of his formation before being called to priesthood, Deacon Fils-Aime, can baptize, witness marriages, perform funerals and burial services, distribute the Eucharist and preach the homily.

Seminarian receives Ministry of Acolyte

Staff Report – Vatican City

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Alexander Pince was received into the Ministry of Acolyte during a Feb. 24 Mass on Vatican City.

Pince was one of 43 seminarians from Pontifical North American College to receive this honor in the College Chapel of the Immaculate Conception from Most. Rev. Steven J. Lopes, Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

During his homily, Bishop Lopes stressed the importance of Christ’s love as a measure for our lives noting that Jesus Christ is “a love without conditions, a love without limits, a love that was willing to give all; that is the love that is revealed in God, in Christ.”

Bishop Lopes told the newly instituted acolytes that this ministry, “as understood in the context of this seminary, is a ritual step toward ordination. It is a ritual drawing near to the altar, the love by which you draw nearer today, changes us. It transfigures us. It accomplishes is us what you and I, humanly speaking, could never ask or even imagine. And so we love differently. We are changed by the sacramental outpouring of grace. Because at the altar we know ourselves to be loved in a way that is unimaginable. This is the heart of the Christian Faith. This is the heart of the Gospel itself.”

As part of the Rite, the Bishop placed the paten, which contains the hosts for the celebration of Mass, in the hands of each candidate. He then said, “take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and His Church.”

The seminarians, currently in their second year of formation for the priesthood, would have two additional years of theological studies before being ordained to the priesthood in their home Dioceses.

The Pontifical North American College serves as the American Seminary in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed more than 5,000 priests.

Seminarian Ordained as Transitional Deacon

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Carlos Encinas feels blessed and at peace following his Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate on April 14 at St. Joan of Arc Parish Church, Boca Raton.

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Carlos Encinas, a student at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary is presented the Book of Gospels during his Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, April 14, at St. Joan of Arc Parish Church, Boca Raton, by Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Transitional Deacon Encinas said a few days later that “the peace and happiness that I experienced that day are still with me. Praise God! The role of a Deacon is to assist the Priest ministering some of the sacraments to the people of God. I’m really excited that I will be able to do that.”

Celebrated by Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine, the ordination of 13 men at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, is one of the final steps toward priesthood.

While his family was unable to attend from Argentina, they were able to watch a live feed on Facebook. Present in support of Encinas were a number of friends as well as Fathers Tomasz Zalewski and Lawton Lang of St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton, where Encinas served a pastoral year. In a show of support, Transitional Deacon Encinas served as the deacon at the April 15 Masses at St. Joseph Parish.

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Carlos Encinas seen following his Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, April 14, at St. Joan of Arc Parish Church, Boca Raton. He is pictured with Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Seminary Rector Msgr. David Toups, and Father Tomasz Zalewski, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton.

Deacon Encinas, 39, is from Corrientes, Argentina, and was working toward a medical degree when he discerned his vocation to the priesthood.

During the ordination, the new deacons promised to live a life of prayer, celibacy and obedience to their Diocesan Bishop. Deacon Encinas will have an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before petitioning for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2019. As part of the ordination rite, the Bishop placed the Book of Gospels in the hands of each candidate being ordained and said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Diocese of Venice Seminarian Carlos Encinas, a student at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, was among those ordained to the Transitional Diaconate, April 14, at St. Joan of Arc Parish Church, Boca Raton, by Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.

In his homily, Bishop Estévez noted the wisdom of the Church that those seeking ordination to the priesthood first become deacons. “This is so that each one of them understands that as Jesus taught the Apostles by the washing of the feet at the Last Supper, that they ought to do the same as the Lord. That is to minister in the manner as servants.”

Bishop Estévez added that deacons are not simply servants, but they are called to be an encounter with the Living Word for others as they have been blessed be a personal intimate relationship with the Lord.

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