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Deacons Romeo G. Cappella and Thomas J. Merkel have received their Call to Orders and will be ordained to the priesthood. Benjamin E. Rivard has received his Call to Orders and will be ordained to the diaconate (transitional). The ordination will be celebrated privately by Bishop John Doerfler on Friday, June 5, 2020 at St. Peter Cathedral at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern). All three will minister in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette, which encompasses Michigan’s entire Upper Peninsula.
Deacon Romeo Cappella, previously a brother of the Companions of Christ the Lamb in Paradise, is preparing for his upcoming ordination by, “praying the rosary a lot.” Cappella, whose home parish is St. Pius X in Southgate, studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and is the son of parents Romeo and Heather Cappella. Cappella experiences Jesus in his daily life “in the little things – in the joys and sorrows of life I find a constant companion for the journey in Jesus.”
Deacon Thomas Merkel, whose home parish is St. Mary & St. Joseph in Iron Mountain, is preparing for his upcoming ordination by taking a canonical retreat. “This is a silent retreat where I focus on what the Lord is asking of me during priesthood. I focus on the scriptures and spending time with Jesus.” Merkel studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and is the son of Mitch and Marchell Merkel. He experiences Jesus in his daily life “in the Eucharist at Mass each morning and praying throughout the day.”
Benjamin Rivard, whose home parish is All Saints in Gladstone, is preparing for his ordination with a retreat as well. “I am preparing with lots of prayer. I will be taking a five-day silent retreat to pray about and ponder the awesome gift and responsibility I will undertake at ordination.” Rivard will continue to study at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and is the son of Jim and Michelle Rivard. He experiences Jesus in his daily life “through prayer before the Eucharist. My prayer to Jesus in the Eucharist gives each day a deeper meaning.”
Father Ben Hasse, diocesan director of vocations said: “We are full of joy as these three good men prepare for ordination! Even as we face circumstances and challenges we couldn’t have imagined, we know God is faithful to us and to His Church. We see that vividly in His call to these men to serve, and their generous response. May God raise up many other men and women to serve the Church in manifold ways!”
The Mass will be available via livestream at www.dioceseofmarquette.org/response.