PALM BEACH GARDENS | It was a day of joy at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Sept. 11, 2021, as families, friends and clergy participated in Mass of the Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate of Francis O. Fau and Mark Alfred Hoch. The ceremony was livestreamed, as well.
“We welcome all of you to St. Ignatius of Loyola Cathedral on this very, very happy day of which we ordain two of our brothers, Mark and Frank, to the Order of the Diaconate,” said Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito during his welcome. “They came with their wives and their families as a sign of their love for the church in giving themselves to the service of the church.”
Following the Gospel, the Rite of Ordination began. Deacon Pete del Valle, associate director of diaconate formation, presented the candidates to Bishop Barbarito and then Father Daniel Daza-Jaller, diocesan director of vocations, attested to their readiness for ordination to the diaconate. In the Catholic Church, in ordained ministry, the diaconate includes transitional deacons — those preparing for the priesthood — and permanent deacons.
In the Election of the Candidates, Bishop Barbarito, on behalf of the entire church, accepted the candidates and called them to ordination as deacons with the following words: “Relying on the help of our Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose these, our brothers Francis and Mark, for the Order of the Diaconate.”
“Thanks be to God,” was followed by applause of consent by the people.
Bishop Barbarito’s homily reflected upon the importance of humility, calling upon Mary for guidance, and the importance of proclaiming the gospel as the apostles preached.
“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.’ These words by the Prophet Jeremiah spoken in the First Reading are addressed in a particular way to you, my brothers, Frank and Mark, as you are ordained deacons to the service of the people of God here in the Diocese of Palm Beach.”
The bishop’s homily reflected upon the Second Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. “While the ministry of the deacons would be different from that of the Apostles, they both would be complimentary to each other in order that the Word of God will continue to be proclaimed.”
Directly speaking to the diaconate ordinands, “My brothers, Mark and Frank, as you are ordained deacons today, continue to preach the Gospel to the world that needs to hear the Gospel more than we need anything else, the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Following the homily, the Rite of Ordination continued. The bishop laid his hands on the heads of the candidates. By this holy gesture found in Sacred Scripture and church tradition, the office of the diaconate was conferred.
Deacon Hoch has been a parishioner at Holy Name of Jesus in West Palm Beach for over 20 years. He is married, and he and his wife are active members of the parish’s pastoral council. He served as past vice president of the Legion of Mary Curia at Holy Name. He earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in political science from St. Thomas University, and Villanova University, respectively.
“As a deacon I am looking forward to service, serving God’s people, not just parishioners, but all people within the diocese. I am serious about leading people to Christ, to have a relationship with Christ,” Deacon Hoch said. “I am also looking forward to bringing the youth to Christ.”
His wife, Cuqui, was jubilant. “I think it is a blessing from God. God knows how to choose His people. He chose a very special man.”
Deacon Francis Fau has been a parishioner for over 27 years at Our Lady of Lourdes in Boca Raton. He is married, and earned both a associate’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in professional management from Nova Southeastern University.
“I have done hospital ministry bringing communion to the sick and homebound. I have gone to the prisons bringing the Word of God to the incarcerated,” he said. “I am so blessed that God has called me to this ministry and that he chose me. I hope that evangelization gets bigger and bigger and I will be a part of it.”
Pamela, his wife, was also jubilant. “I could not be more proud of Frank and what he has accomplished and his commitment to his faith and to his family. I look forward to the next chapter in our life to what God has chosen for us.”
Their son, Matthew, said he is proud of his father. “He is the true definition of perseverance.”
For more information courses of study, call 561-732-4424. For more information on the diaconate program and application: visit the diocesepb.org, click on Diaconate Ministry.