Welcome Deacon Mauricio Tabera

05-17-2015Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

As you may know, following his ordination to the diaconate on Saturday, May 16th, Deacon Mauricio Tabera will be assigned to St. Magdalen's as his home parish while he continues his theology studies and prepares for his priestly ordination, God willing, in the spring of 2016. This week, the deacon-to-be gave an interview to our Director of Communications. I would like to share with you some of his background, how he discerned God's call to the priesthood and how he came to say yes to Christ's invitation to "come and follow me."

Deacon Mauricio Tabera was born in Medellin, Columbia in 1985, and is the seventh of nine children. His family was rooted in Catholicism, and while in high school, Mauricio became deeply attracted to the way that two local pastors lived out their vocations to the priesthood. After four years of discernment, Mauricio began philosophy and theology studies at a local seminary in Columbia.

While studying theology, a certain Columbian-American priest in charge of arranging assignments to various dioceses in the United States asked Mauricio to consider a possible calling to serve the Church in the US. In 2010, Mauricio met Rev. Msgr. Randall J. Vashon, the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Metuchen, and was invited to join the diocesan priests in the Diocese of Metuchen. After a year of intense discernment, Mauricio accepted the calling, moved to New Jersey and began his studies of the English language at the ESL (English as a second language) program at Rutgers University. Following that, he began advanced ESL studies at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, and continued his theological studies.

Deacon Mauricio, when describing his journey to the priesthood, highlights the importance of that first encounter he had with the two Columbian pastors who so joyfully lived out their vocations to the priesthood. "They were always smiling," Deacon Mauricio recalled. "Whatever they were doing, whether it was to help the youth or the elderly, people were drawn to them because they radiated joy. I learned from them that the goal of life is to be truly happy, that Christianity is about being a happy people." This closely echoes a sentiment expressed by Pope Francis. "The Christian is a man or woman of joy," the Pope said May 10, 2013, giving a homily during his morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

When asked about what he would like to say to parishioners at Saint Magdalen's, Deacon Maurizio replied, "I come to learn from them, to share my experience and faith in Christ, and also to help them in any way that I am able."

Welcome, Deacon Mauricio Tabera!

Easter peace and Joy, Father Tim