Archbishop Broglio ordains Deacons Roy Mellon and Joseph Pak during holy Mass at National Shrine
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Archdiocese for the Military Services(AMS)celebrated the ordination of two permanent deacons for service to those who serve. Roy Mellon and Joseph Pak, both American citizens and members of the AMS faithful working in the Republic of Korea, were ordained Saturday in a solemn Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
While dozens of deacons incardinated in other dioceses already serve with faculties and endorsement from the AMS on United States military installations, at VA Medical Centers and in the archdiocesan chancery, Deacons Mellon and Pakhave been incardinated directly from the archdiocese. Both will minster to U.S. military personnel and their families in Korea, where the new deacons and their wives are longtime residents and the men are active leaders in the Knights of Columbus (K of C), the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, administered the ordination through the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. The Mass was concelebrated by all four AMS Auxiliary Bishops: the Most Reverend Richard B. Higgins, the Most Reverend F. Richard Spencer, the Most Reverend Neal J. Buckon, and the Most Reverend Robert J. Coyle, along with other priests, including AMS Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Monsignor John J.M. Foster, J.C.D. Fathers Michael Albano and Kenneth Carlson, who were instrumental in the last phase of the formation of the new deacons, were also present. The AMS Chancellor, Deacon Mike Yakir assisted. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson attended the Mass, along with a K of C honor guard, members of the new deacons’ families, AMS staffers and others.
In his homily just before administering ordination, Archbishop Broglio addressed the two candidates directly:
“… I wanted to ordain you on the Feast of an Apostle, because you are being sent forth in the context of this Year of Faith. Your ordination and incardination represent an experiment in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. You will make an important contribution to the life of the faithful of this Archdiocese in Korea, but none of us knows how everything will work out. None of us is certain about the dimensions of your future service. None of us is certain if you will also be the only deacons ordained directly to serve the AMS.
“I imagine that the Apostles did not know that most of those first deacons would die martyrs. You will certainly be martyrs in the sense of witnesses, but the specifics of the development of your ministry remain in the mind of God.”
Go here to read the full text of Archbishop Broglio’s homily.
For Deacons Mellon and Pak, ordination represents the culmination of years of academic and spiritual preparation during which each earned a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Deacon Mellon said he sensed the call of the Holy Spirit to pursue the diaconate while preparing for Archbishop Broglio’s 2008 Christmas visit to Korea.
Deacon Mellon said:
“And so we went through it together, and he convinced me right there, and I said, ‘so I’m ready. What do we do?’ And he said, ‘Well, we don’t have a program.’”
Both Deacons Mellon and Pak say they are now fully prepared to assume their new ministerial role in the Church.
Deacon Mellon said:
“I’m ready because I’m not afraid, and as Pope Francis said, ‘just listen, follow God, follow Jesus, and don’t be afraid.’ So, that’s where I am.”
Deacon Pak said:
“The Holy Spirit clearly led us here. I just continue to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me where I’m going.”
Deacon Mellon, originally from Saginaw, Mich., spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force working primarily in airborne reconnaissance before embarking on a private sector career as a software and systems engineer and corporate division manager for L-3 Communications. He and wife Song Hui have a daughter, Margaret, who is a junior at Boston University, and a son, who lives in Las Vegas, Nev.
Deacon Pak served 22 years in the U.S. Army—14 years of that time in Special Forces—before joining civil service as a planner, strategist and analyst for the Department of Defense. He and wife Sunyong have a son, Nicholas, who is a seminarian with the Archdiocese of Seattle, and a daughter, Theresa, who is a medical student in New York City.
The AMS was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as the only Catholic jurisdiction responsible for endorsing and granting faculties for priests to serve as chaplains in the U.S. military and VA Medical Centers.
AMS-endorsed priests serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed chaplains also serve at 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S.
The AMS service population also includes American Catholic civilians working for the federal government in 134 countries, but currently, due to limited resources, the AMS cannot adequately serve this population.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, MM.