CHICAGO – Surrounded by his Franciscan brothers, Abraham Joseph, OFM, was ordained to the transitional diaconate at noon on May 21 in the chapel of the Catholic Theological Union.
“The liturgy was simple, beautiful, and still profound,” said Abraham. “It was the result of a great collaboration between the OFM, the OFM Capuchins, and the liturgy staff of CTU.”
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, president of the school, concelebrated with Joseph Rozansky, OFM, co-director of the interprovincial post-novitiate program. John Ullrich, OFM, was the vesting priest, and Bishop Mark Bartosic, auxiliary of the Chicago Archdiocese, presided and ordained Abraham.
“I was very fortunate to have Bishop Bartosic presiding at the ordination,” said Abraham “He has worked with migrants and prisoners, two marginalized groups that I have served and will continue to serve. My Capuchin brothers from the Midwest have been supportive and were present in great numbers at the ordination.
“The diaconate ordination was special for me because I publicly promised to imitate Christ as Servant of the People of God,” said Abraham.
“Many people asked me the next day if I feel different,” he added. “I am still the same person, but I pray and minister at a different level of awareness. I feel now a greater and wider sense of mission. Nothing is about just me and those I know. My service is for all God’s creation.”
Abraham, a native of Haiti, professed his final vows as a Franciscan last August at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. He began his Franciscan formation, or training, in 2012 after coming to the U.S. in 2000. He professed his first vows in 2014 in Burlington, Wis., where he had spent a year at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate.
After the diaconate ceremony, Abraham traveled to New York City where he had lived before joining the Franciscans. He spent Memorial Day enjoying the hospitality of St. Francis of Assisi Friary on West 31st Street, which included a holiday barbecue.
This summer, Abraham will serve as a transitional deacon at St. Clare of Montefalco Church, a Capuchin parish on the south side of Chicago. He also plans to take classes at CTU and Loyola University.
Images of the diaconate ceremony were posted in a video produced by Casey Cole, OFM, who lived with Abraham at Blessed Giles Friary in Chicago last year. The video, titled “Today…. was not an ordinary day,” describes several events that took place on May 21 — the profession of final vows by a friar from Croatia, Br. Luka Coric, OFM, and the completion of classes by Casey.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.
“Abraham Joseph Professes Solemn Vows” – Sept. 17, 2018, HNP Today
“Recently-professed Friars Appreciate Sharing, Listening” — Jan. 18, 2019, HNP Today
“Are Americans Wiser Today than Yesterday?” by Abraham Joseph, OFM – Jan. 9, 2018, HNP Today