Deacon Gino Rossi answers the call as servant
In recognition that all priests and deacons come to their vocation after being nurtured in a family, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo thanked the parents of Gino Paul Rossi as he prepared to ordain him to the transitional diaconate March 3 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
“It is his family that has given him love and guidance as he grew up, and now we reap the benefit of that love,”
The Bishop said. “Thank you, family, for your kindness.”
Deacon Rossi, now in his third year of theology studies at Theological College of the Catholic University of America, graduated magna cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He grew up in Newport News where the family are parishioners of St. Jerome Church.
Deacon Rossi, the youngest of three children of Frank and Cathy Rossi, worked as an auditor for a public accounting firm before he prayerfully reflected and then answered the call to journey toward the priesthood.
In his homily, Bishop DiLorenzo spoke of tensions in Syria and the worry many Americans have about getting involved in a full-scale conflict overseas.
There was a similar reluctance of Americans for getting involved in what became World War II in the early 1940s, the Bishop said. President Franklin D. Roosevelt resisted getting America involved, but in January 1941 with his State of the Union message he defended the motives behind his offer to help England in what he called the Four Freedoms. He did so in the form of a motivational speech about human rights.
“The Four Freedoms were an in-depth look at humanity and its yearnings,” Bishop DiLorenzo said, then named them — freedom of worship and religion, freedom from want, freedom of speech and freedom from fear.
Two years later in 1943 American artist Norman Rockwell painted four oil illustrations which depicted the Four Freedoms. The paintings, which were widely circulated during the war and for decades after, depicted the faces of Americans and how they exercised the freedoms which are held as basic human rights.
President Roosevelt expressed the Four Freedoms in the form of a motivational speech, and Rockwell did so through the point of view of an artist with illustrations. Both express the call of humanity for its yearnings.
“Gino is here today because at the core of his existence, God is calling him,” Bishop DiLorenzo asserted. “It is his desire, as that of all transitional deacons, to address those yearnings humanity has.”
He said that Deacon Rossi, first as a deacon and than later through the priesthood, would proclaim the Word of God freely and courageously. He will also exercise charity.
“The deacon has a life of courageous Christian love at the service of every man, woman and child, and he does it in terms of the ministry of Jesus Christ,” the Bishop said.
In conclusion, he looked toward Gino, and smiling, said, “Gino, good luck in your new job.”
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