After five years of educational and pastoral formation, eight laymen will advance to the Order of Deacon in service to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton on May 15 when they are ordained by Bishop David M. O’Connell in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton.
Gene Lanzoni of The Church of Saint Ann in Lawrence Township is the second vice president of corporate marketing for Guardian Life Insurance Company in New York.
He attended Incarnation School in Ewing (1965-74); Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville (1974-78); The College of New Jersey (1978-80, 1984-85), bachelor’s in communications/marketing; and Georgian Court University (2016-19), master’s in theology.
His ministries at St. Ann Parish include sacristan, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector, altar server coordinator, Loaves & Fishes volunteer, school marketing committee, and Faith in Our Future Cohort representative.
“I’ve been drawn to the church and to a life of faith and charity from a young age. Serving at the altar, serving God’s people and proclaiming the Word brings me so much joy and [brings me] closer to Christ. I feel most alive when doing good works for the Lord. As my wife says, ‘Church is my happy place,’ ” he said in a statement provided by the diocese.
The vesting priest is the Rev. Leandro Dela Cruz, pastor of St. Ann Parish.
The other men, who hail from Burlington, Mercer and Monmouth counties, will serve their parish communities as permanent deacons. All of the men are married with families and have served as lay ministers for many years in their parishes in such roles as lectors, catechists, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and in youth and Hispanic ministries, according to the statement.
Deacons are called to proclaim the Gospel at Mass and preach. They are able to officiate at weddings and Baptism, and they can preside at Communion services, wakes and funerals and certain other ceremonies and observances in the church, according to the statement.
The Mass of Ordination will begin at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed on all diocesan media outlets, including YouTube.com/trentondiocese. In-person attendance is by invitation only.