Wayne County native is ordained a deacon - Catholic Courier
A man folds his hands.

George Bastedo IV waits to process into Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral ahead of the May 25 deacon ordination Mass. (Courier photo by Jeff Witherow)

Wayne County native is ordained a deacon

ROCHESTER — Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on the morning of May 25 started out with George Bastedo IV sitting alongside his family.

An hour later, the 30-year-old not only took up a new position in the cathedral — moving to the deacon’s chair near Bishop Salvatore R. Matano’s cathedra — but also assumed a new title.

During the 90-minute liturgy, Deacon Bastedo was ordained to the diaconate, which marks one of his final steps toward entering the diocesan priesthood in approximately a year.

“I could not be happier this day than to be able to ordain your son, your brother, to the order of the diaconate,” Bishop Matano told Deacon Bastedo’s family during the Mass.

Ordination at Rochester cathedral contains special moments

After Bishop Matano’s homily, Deacon Bastedo knelt before Bishop Matano, who, according to the ancient rites of the church, laid his hands on Deacon Bastedo’s head and prayed the prayer of consecration. Next, Deacon Gregory Kiley vested Deacon Bastedo with a stole and dalmatic, the vesture proper to a deacon in fulfilling his liturgical roles; Bishop Matano presented Deacon Bastedo with the Book of the Gospels, as the proclamation of the Gospel is one of the chief duties of a deacon; and the new deacon exchanged the fraternal sign of peace with Bishop Matano and one by one with his fellow deacons, welcoming him into the order of deacons.

Deacon Bastedo’s father, George Bastedo III, served as reader; and his mother, Gwen, and only sibling, Michael, presented the gifts of bread and wine. They were part of a congregation that included a number of concelebrating priests, permanent deacons, seminarians and members of the Diocesan Choir, who provided the sacred music.

Deacon Bastedo said his most memorable part of the liturgy occurred near the beginning of the Rite of Ordination, when those gathered knelt and sang the Litany of the Saints while he lay prostrate on the cathedral floor.

“The Litany of the Saints has always been a moment that has struck me, from all the ordinations I’ve served, and now from my own,” he said, explaining that “you’ve got so much going on (with the ordination), that’s the moment where you can just take it easy and pray.” (Deacon Bastedo offers more reflections on his ordination in this video.)

The Mass as a whole, according to Deacon Bastedo’s mother, “was very emotional — much more emotional than I expected it to be.” Meanwhile, Deacon Bastedo said he felt relief that the ordination went off without a hitch after he’d battled an illness earlier in the week.

Wayne County native now looks forward to priesthood next year

Deacon Bastedo was scheduled to serve his first full Mass as a deacon on May 26 during the 10:30 a.m. liturgy at his home church, St. John the Evangelist in Clyde, part of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. He will spend this summer assisting at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva before returning to St. John’s Seminary near Boston, where he will begin his final year of studies.

As a transitional deacon, Deacon Bastedo will spend the upcoming year completing his academic studies, exercising pastoral ministry proper to a deacon, and continuing to prepare for his priestly ordination set for 2025 and the rest of his life in providing priestly service to the people of God.

So begins the latest vocational chapter for the Wayne County native. Deacon Bastedo was valedictorian of his 2012 graduating class at Clyde-Savannah High School, then majored in music and mathematics at the University of Rochester before earning a master’s degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music. He taught music for one year at Lyons High School, yet he discontinued that career path to follow a growing attraction to the priesthood.

“When the Lord calls, the Lord calls,” remarked Deacon Bastedo, who entered seminary in the fall of 2019. He was dealt a curve ball a few months later when the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread public shutdowns yet has remained on track to be ordained a priest in 2025.

Deacon Bastedo’s parents noted that they were initially surprised at his decision to enter the seminary, since he had only briefly mentioned that possibility to them. However, they said he’s well-fit for a priestly vocation.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word come out of George’s mouth,” George Bastedo III said, adding that his son is “always willing to help anyone.”

“He’s very humble, too,” Gwen Bastedo added.

Now that he’s been ordained a deacon, Deacon Bastedo said he’s all the more eager to enter the priestly ranks at the conclusion of his seminary formation.

“I remember when Fathers Steve Lewis and Joe Maurici were about to be ordained deacons (in 2020),” he said. “I asked them, ‘What are you looking forward to most about being a deacon?’ And they said, ‘Being a priest.’ And I’d have to say the same.”

Tags: Holy Orders
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