Date of Award
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
On June 16, 2018, I was ordained into the Order of the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (hereinafter “Archdiocese of Santa Fe” or “Archdiocese”).1 Ordination was the culmination of years of prayer, silent contemplation, and study in order to ready myself to enter the Order of the Permanent Diaconate. On the same date of my ordination, I served my first Mass as deacon and gave my first homily. Three years later, I recall that first homily. It was from the Gospel of Mark about the mustard seed sown in the ground, and how the smallest of seeds grows into a grand plant putting forth large branches, “so that birds in the sky can dwell in the shade” (Mk 4:30-32).2 During my homily, I reflected on the significance and nurturing of faith in all our lives so that the faithful may be prepared to enter the Kingdom of God. This year, almost to the day of my ordination, we are once again reading about the mustard seed in the Gospel of Mark. Today, I look at the date of my ordination as the planting of a mustard seed. I ask whether the mustard seed has taken root, been nurtured, and been growing and strengthening into the largest of plants so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade...
Valdez, Joseph Alex, "The Order of the Diaconate in the Modern World: Status of the Mustard Seed" (2021). Master of Theological Studies Theses (campus only). 26.