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Four men – Rafael Flores (from St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto), Jonathan Garcia (St. George, Ontario), Maurice Quindoy (from St. John XXIII, Fontana/Rialto) and Bryant Rivas (from St. Mel, Norco) – will be ordained transitional deacons on Dec. 17 at Sacred Heart, Rancho Cucamonga, at 10:00 a.m. Following this step in their vocational journey, the four men are expected to be ordained to the priesthood in May 2023. Below are some words from each of the four men on their upcoming Diaconate Ordination.

Rafael Flores: In some ways it feels a bit surreal. All these years of education and formation and I always told myself, “Ordination is way off in the distance.” Well, now it’s right around the corner; it feels like it snuck up on me in some ways. There is, however, much joy and excitement. It’s hard to believe that this time in seminary is coming to an end. However, this is only the end of the beginning. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that in a few months I will no longer be a seminarian. I’ll still be a student, because the people of God in the parishes have much to teach me, but I will not be a seminarian anymore.

Jonathan Garcia: As I reflect on my journey to this point, I am amazed that I find myself only months away from being ordained a priest. My years in formation have been challenging, but attainable. I have enjoyed building community at Assumption Seminary. Together we have created memories that will stay with us forever. I am thankful for the support and friendships along the way with both my colleagues and faculty members. Besides learning about the Church, I have learned about myself. I have learned to surrender my vulnerabilities to God and allow God to guide my path. I now have a deeper consideration and love for my family who have remained with me every step of the way, whether I was home studying through the pandemic, or from afar. I am also thankful for my home parish, St. George in Ontario. Their prayers kept me uplifted.

Maurice Quindoy: My time in the seminary has been such a blessing in my life. It has also been one of the most important learning experiences I have been through. Before the seminary, I worked for about 25 years, so the prospect of starting school all over again seemed daunting at first. However, with years of prayers and trusting in the Lord’s plan for me, I am slowly reaching the end of this part of my journey. However, formation is a lifelong process, which means that I must allow the Lord to work through me to use me as His instrument. I look forward to serving the people of God in the near future. It will be challenging, and I will have a lot to learn, but with the Lord’s help, anything is possible.

Bryant Rivas: It feels so unreal to have reached this milestone in my life. I am both nervous and excited for my diaconate ordination. As I enter the last few months of formation, I think back to where I started and about all the people who have supported me along the way. I am grateful to God for calling me to this vocation.