Cardinal to Ordain Five Permanent Deacons from Spanish-Language Program

June 02, 2005

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will ordain five men, the first graduates of a new Spanish-language formation program, as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington on Saturday, June 4, 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

The men, four of whom are married, completed five years of theological study and prayer in preparation for ordination while working in full-time jobs. As permanent deacons, they will assist priests in preaching, distributing the Eucharist, blessing marriages, baptizing and presiding at funerals, and will dedicate themselves to works of charity. An ancient role in the Catholic Church, the permanent diaconate fell out of use after the fifth century, but was restored in the late 1960’s after the Second Vatican Council.

The five men are the first graduates of a Spanish-language formation program established by the Archdiocese to encourage more native Spanish-speakers to become permanent deacons.

During their ordination, the men will make a promise of obedience, and will receive a stole, which is worn over the left shoulder to symbolize that the right arm is always free to help others; a vestment called a dalmatic; and the book of the Gospels, which is a sign that they are to proclaim the word of God. One deacon candidate who is not married also will make a commitment to celibacy. Brief biographies are below:

Santiago Tomas Montalvo Ascenscio, St. John the Evangelist, Clinton, was born in Cadiz, Spain, and grew up in Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the United States. He has a master’s degree in engineering management and has worked for the Federal government for 16 years. He is chief of the Planning, Design and Construction section of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Married, he has three children.

Mario Francisco Moreno, Shrine of St. Jude, Rockville, is a native of San Salvador, El Salvador, who moved to the United States just five years ago. He has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration. Married since 1985, he has three children and is coordinator of Hispanic ministry for St. Jude parish.

Roberto Pineda, Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Washington, DC, was born in Callao, Peru, and has lived in the United States since 1970. He recently retired as director of the Veteran’s Employment Service of the U.S. Department of Labor, completing a 32-year career with the Federal government. A Vietnam-era veteran, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 22 years. He has been an active volunteer with St. Leo’s parish in Fairfax and worked in the vocations program for the Diocese of Arlington before beginning his ministry at St. Matthew’s.

Rodolfo Salinas-Cabrera, St. Mark, Hyattsville, was born in Lima, Peru and is a research coordinator for the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Maryland. Before moving to the Washington area in 1996, he served as an administrator and counselor for Saint Camillus House in Miami, FL, working one-on-one with people struggling with social problems. He also worked for the Diocese of Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. He graduated from Saint John Vianney College Seminary in Miami.

Trinidad Soc, St. Michael the Archangel, Silver Spring, is a native of Salcaja, Quezaltenango, Guatemala. He received an undergraduate degree in public accounting from San Carlos de Borromeo and emigrated to the United States in 1984. Married and the father of three children, he works for Hann and Hann Painting Company, doing faux finish painting, wallcovering and fabrics.

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Susan Gibbs
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