Subdeacon David Talaga, Bishop Jerry, Subdeacon Douglas Scott 2023 Clergy Retreat
Here is some recent news about Sacred Vocations in our diocese!
By Rev. Jason Soltysiak
Every year, clergy from each diocese in the Polish National Catholic Church gather at the behest of the Diocesan Bishop on Tuesday of Holy Week to bless and consecrate the Holy Oils during the Mass of Chrism. In our Western Diocese, we travel about half the time outside of our Cathedral of All Saints to celebrate this important annual Mass. This was one of the years we had a reason to be at the Cathedral – not only did we gather to celebrate priesthood and renew our priestly vows within the Holy Mass, we raised in prayer two men who are a few steps into carving their own ministerial path. Cleric Doug Scott (All Saints Cathedral; Chicago, IL) and Cleric David Talaga (Our Savior; Mosinee, WI) have advanced in their studies within our diocesan diaconate program and were deemed ready to be elevated to the final “Minor” Holy Order – Sub-Deacon. This was to take place within the celebration of the Chrism Mass. Our clergy met for a bit of Holy Week prep earlier in the day, and after, “the boys” were given their final prep both for the elevations and for participation in the Chrism Mass.
Nearing the conclusion, the skies darkened and marble-sized hail fell from the sky- while pondering what this ominous sign may have meant, two trees in the adjoining parish cemetery were struck by lighting, one within a few yards of our bishop’s office window! The Rt. Rev. Jaroslaw Rafalko, Bishop-Ordinary of the PNCC Western Diocese and pastor of All Saints served as celebrant of the Chrism Mass, main consecrator of the Sacred Chrism, and would elevate the candidates to Sub-Deacon. Shortly after processing into church and having the attending clergy take their places, Holy Mass began, with the elevation ritual beginning after Bishop completed the opening prayer. The Very Rev. Charles Zawistowski, who serves as the head of the diaconate program and served as Arch-Deaocon of the Mass, called forward the two candidates by name. Clerics Scott and Talaga approached bishop vested in an alb with cincture and a partially-prepared amice, while carrying the tunic, the symbol of office of sub-deacon. They also carried a lit candle. Upon being addressed by Bishop, they are reminded what their new duties would entail. They were then presented first, with the chalice & paten. They were charged to keep these clean and prepared for the celebration of Holy Mass. They were then presented with filled cruets and a purificator. They were given the ability to assist at Holy Mass in a greater capacity.
Upon receiving a blessing, the amice, a symbol of purity of speech, was placed upon their heads and then completed in vesture. This represents their ability to potentially preach at events if given permission. They were both then vested in the tunic, a garment of gladness that represents their divine office. The Book of Lessons is then presented, giving each the ability to read in the Church of God. Sub-Deacon Talaga then read the lesson for the Holy Mass, and Sub-Deacon Scott took his place at the left-hand of the bishop to assist throughout the rest of Mass, each fulfilling a portion of the newly-appointed office.