By Catholic Review Staff
Fellow clergy, friends and his substantial family gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore May 30, for a Mass celebrating the transitional diaconate of Michael Rubeling.
Archbishop William E. Lori presided over the last step prior to the priestly ordination of Deacon Rubeling, who is expected to become a priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in June 2016.
A parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle in Libertytown, Deacon Rubeling is one of 10 children. His brothers include Peter, a college seminarian at John Paul II Seminary in Washington, D.C.
In addition to his family, those at the Baltimore Basilica included Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, archbishop emeritus of Baltimore, who a day earlier had celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
Cardinal O’Brien’s previous posts included serving as rector of the Pontifical North American College, where Deacon Rubeling will spend the 2015-16 school year as a fourth-year theology student.
Deacon Rubeling graduated cum laude from Providence College in Rhode Island in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, then entered the Pontifical North American College. During his recent pastoral year, he served at St. Ignatius in Hickory.
During the liturgy, Deacon Rubeling placed his hands in those of Archbishop Lori, promising respect and obedience to the archbishop and his successors.
In an expression of his total dependence on God, he prostrated himself on the floor as the faithful chanted the Litany of the Saints. After the archbishop laid hands on the new deacon, Deacon Rubeling was vested with the stole and dalmatic – signs of his new office. The archbishop also gave him a Book of the Gospels.
A deacon’s regular duties include proclaiming the Gospel at Mass and delivering homilies. In addition, he administers the sacrament of baptism and witnesses weddings. A deacon may also preside at rites of Christian burial, at eucharistic exposition and benediction, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical rites.
Transitional deacons differ from permanent deacons in that they are eventually ordained to the priesthood.