Transitional deacons serenade Pope Francis

October 11, 2016


VATICAN CITY — The day before he was to be ordained to the transitional diaconate in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Deacon Jonathan Moré had another special experience.

With a group of other seminarians from the Pontifical North American College also to be ordained the next day, Deacon Moré had the unique opportunity to sing for Pope Francis following the pontiff's Wednesday audience on Sept. 28.

"It was very inspiring to be so close to the Holy Father, without even a barrier separating us," Deacon Moré said. Following the song, the pope personally spoke to the group. "When (the pope) spoke to us, it felt like listening to an old, wise pastor. He told us that the single most important thing to do as a priest was to pray, particularly the Rosary."

After a group photo, the pope took his own rosary from his pocket, holding it up for the seminarians to see how serious he is about Marian prayer. The seminarians sang ‘Ad Multos Annos,' a wish for long life. 

This wasn't Deacon Moré's first personal encounter with the pope. In his first year in Rome, he was able to exchange a white zucchetto, the skullcap the pope wears, with the pope himself ― a "very human moment" he said he'll never forget. 

While Deacon Moré has special experiences to make life in Rome memorable, he said it can be hard to be so far away from his family, the archdiocese, people and the city he wants to minister to. He credits the support of the Knights of Columbus and other organizations, but he's really looking forward to ministry in the archdiocese. "Also, I've yet to find good Tex-Mex anywhere in Rome," he said. 

Deacon Moré finds it special to be at the seminary in Rome during the Year of Mercy. "For me, the Year of Mercy is about remembering that no one is so far gone that they can't be brought back to God," he said. "God's love knows no bounds." I think that we as Christians have to remember that and so treat our bruised and wounded brethren as God would." He also said St. Augustine, his confirmation saint, is a good example for this Jubilee Year. 

Deacon Moré is a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, with St. Cecilia Catholic Church as his home parish.