Seminarian and new Transitional Deacon Alexander Pince is seen with Bishop Frank J. Dewane Aug. 29, 2020 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. (PHOTO by BOB REDDY)

Seminarian becomes Transitional Deacon

Venice  |  Surrounded by nearly his entire extended family, Alexander Pince was overwhelmed with emotion before, during and after his ordination to the Transitional Diaconate Aug. 29, 2020, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, presiding over the Rite, informed Pince that ordination makes him a minister of the Word, Altar and Charity. “Be a servant of all… You come here freely and have worked hard to put yourself in this particular place, making a commitment to be of service to the Lord and those around you.”

Pince has chosen to live a life in a particular way, Bishop Dewane continued. “Live this life you have chosen to the fullest… Take comfort in prayer which should become the center of your daily life.”

Deacon Pince explained afterwards how the emotions of joy, blessings, and supreme happiness accompanied him throughout the day. “What a beautiful and blessed experience,” he said.

Deacon Pince, 29, was born in Concord, New Hampshire, and is the fourth of seven children. He is a graduate of Ave Maria University, and is currently studying at Pontifical North American College in Rome where the ordination was originally scheduled. However, due to the global pandemic, the location and date were changed to allow family and friends to attend while international travel restrictions persist. 

As part of the Rite, Pince was called forward as a candidate and presented to the Bishop for examination and then election. Following the Homily, in a series of questions, Pince knelt before the Bishop and promised respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors. To signify humble submission before God, he then lay prostrate in the sanctuary while the assembly sang the Litany of Saints.

Following the Litany, the candidate again knelt before the Bishop who imposed his hands on the candidate and proclaimed a prayer of consecration, to confer the Holy Spirit to guide his ministry. Next, Pince received a stole and dalmatic (the exterior garb of a deacon), signifying the office of Diaconate and the Deacon’s role in the celebration of the Eucharist. 

Deacon Pince returned to kneel before Bishop Dewane, at which time the Book of Gospels was placed in his hands and the Bishop said: “Receive the Gospels of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” The Rite of Ordination concluded with the sign of peace.

The first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church, a Deacon performs many services in the Church in conjunction with the ministries of priesthood and of the Episcopate. In Parish life, Deacons may preside at baptisms, weddings and perform funerals and burial services, assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and deliver homilies. The new Transitional Deacon has an additional year of theological studies and spiritual formation before petitioning for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2021. 

The first public Mass for Deacon Pince was Aug. 30, 2020 at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, with his uncle and inspiration, Father Peter Williams, serving as the main celebrant. After his first Mass, Deacon Pince baptized his infant cousin, the newest member of his extended family.