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 “God loves his people and that’s why he continues to call people like you,” Bishop del Riego said. “He has called you so that you may share his love that is expressed in service to God and in service to others, especially the poor. “

 In his homily, Bishop del Riego recalled the message from the readings of people being called to impact society positively and to bring the love of God to the world.

 Bishop del Riego explained that the word deacon means ‘service’ and that all are called to serve with the love of Christ. 

 “The service we are talking about has to do with welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick, visiting the incarcerated, feeding the hungry and giving water to the thirsty,” Bishop del Riego said. “As deacons, this is your work.”

 As deacons the three will now be able to proclaim the Gospel and give homilies, preside over baptisms, weddings and funerals, and supervise acts of charity. 

 Speaking on behalf of himself and Deacon Hernandez and Deacon Weber, Deacon Vargas thanked the families, instructors, parish communities and others for their prayers and encouragement.

 He also acknowledged Father Gerard Mendoza, former pastor at St. George, Fontana and Deacon Manuel Olivas for their example and encouragement. 

 He was impacted by their words, especially Father Mendoza’s vocational story.

 “I still remember the words you said ‘love you pay back with love,’” Vargas said. 

 During the Mass the deacons’ wives were also recognized. In gratitude for their commitment to their husband’s vocation a bouquet of flowers was presented to Guadalupe Hernandez, Teresa Vargas and Cathie Weber.