The Center for Diaconal Formation of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a virtual event featuring members of the diaconate community, faculty and staff of the Seminary, and other very special guests including Cardinal Joseph Tobin.
The September 26 event was live streamed and open to the public. Nearly 300 registrants received the link to view the event and honor the Center for its service to the Archdiocese of Newark as well as the Dioceses of Metuchen, Paterson and Trenton.
"We are blessed to have deacon candidates and deacon graduates from a wide array of backgrounds who faithfully minister in the nooks and crannies of society often as the Church's first responder to those in need," said Deacon Andrew Saunders, M.A., director of the Center for Diaconal Formation.
Deacon Steve Javie
The highlighted speaker of the evening was Deacon Steve Javie, a retired NBA referee who officiated games with such legendary players as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant.
"After retirement, I prayed. I asked the Lord for direction on how best I could serve His Church," Deacon Javie recalled. "Months later, Jeff Cavins, a world-renowned speaker, came to our parish. In his presentation, he talked about how God speaks to each and every one of us. During that presentation, the word ‘deacon' came to my mind, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I went to my pastor and told him the whole story. His advice to me was simple: ‘Steve, put one foot in front of the other. Let the Lord lead the way. He'll show you the way.' Well, He did show me the way. Seven years later, after formation in the seminary in Philadelphia, I was ordained a deacon. Walking down the aisle that June morning, I realized that this is where the Lord was calling me to be."
The program also included the powerful testimonies of Monsignor Joseph Reilly, S.T.L., Ph.D., rector/dean of the Seminary; Dianne Traflet, J.D., S.T.D., associate dean of the Seminary; and Deacon Saunders; as well as alumni deacons, their wives, priests, Seminary faculty and seminarians from all over New Jersey – each with their own stories of how the Center has touched their lives in a meaningful way. Musical selections throughout the program were provided by seminarians Matthew Gonzalez and Andrew Lee as well as Gregory Floyd, M.A., assistant director of the Center, and his son, Gregory Floyd, Ph.D., director of Seton Hall's Center for Catholic Studies.
"We are very grateful for the contributions of so many individuals who spoke about their vocations with such confidence, joy and love. May they be blessed abundantly as they seek so faithfully to follow God's call," said Traflet.
"The celebration, from the initial presentation by Cardinal Tobin and the inputs from Deacon Saunders and academic representatives of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, together with the reflections of the students and graduates, to the guest speaker – reflected both the efforts and results of 10 years offering the fine spiritual, academic and pastoral Diaconal Formation program at Seton Hall University," added Sister Rose McDermott, SSJ. "We in Trenton are happy to be part of the program and pray for its continued success."
The 10-year anniversary celebration will continue throughout the academic year, as world-renowned spiritual writer Father Jacques Philippe will present a talk, followed by a summer barbeque for deacons and their wives.
About Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology:
Immaculate Conception Seminary is a House of Formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood and the School of Theology of Seton Hall University.
As a House of Formation, the Seminary offers men preparing for the priesthood the personal, academic, ministerial and spiritual formation essential for their conversion to Jesus Christ and for their commitment to a life of service to the Church.
As a School of Theology, the Seminary provides: a theological and philosophical foundation for men and women pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies; a theological foundation and a pastoral and spiritual formation for men and women preparing for ministries among the people of God; a theological foundation for men and women desiring to pursue doctoral studies; and varied opportunities for continuing theological education.
Categories: Faith and Service