Fifteen men have been ordained as deacons for service in the Diocese of Metuchen by Rev. James F. Checchio.
The Ordination took place at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen on May 20.
Two men will complete their final year of seminary preparation at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, with the hope of priesthood ordination in May 2018, according to information provided by the Diocese of Metuchen. Deacon Tholitho, a native of Khumiasii Village, India, will serve at St. James the Less Parish in Jamesburg. Deacon Robert Pinnisi, a native of Brooklyn, New York, will serve at St. James Parish in Woodbridge.
The 15 newly ordained deacons originally hail from India, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. They will join the 148 already in active ministry throughout the diocese, bringing the total number of active deacons at this time to 161 ministering in 72 of the diocese’s 90 parishes in the four counties: Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren, according to the statement.
Locally, Deacon James Rivera will serve in St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish in Kendall Park. Born in New York City, Rivera will be the third person in his family to be ordained a deacon. He will follow in the footsteps of his father, Andrew Rivera, who was ordained a deacon in 1980 by Cardinal Cooke, and his brother-in-law, John Maulucci, who was ordained a deacon in 2016 by Cardinal Dolan, according to the statement.
In his parish, Rivera, who works as a full-time psychologist, became involved with many ministries, including the Knights of Columbus, Marriage Encounter, Pre-Cana, Men’s Cornerstone, God’s Plan for Marriage and Scouting.