Letter on the Ordination of Deacon Marvin John Muhat from Aleena Borra

“Whoever serves me, must follow me, says the Lord: and where I am, my servant will also be.” John 12:26


The 28 of January 2023, my family and I had the privilege of witnessing an Ordination to the Diaconate ceremony. What made this extra special is the fact that, of the five newly ordained deacons, is my uncle: Mr. Marvin John Muhat.

The Cathedral of Saint Thomas More, where this solemn ceremony was held, is the Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Arlington (VA) and the seat of Bishop Michael Burbridge. I was deeply touched by the message of his homily about following Jesus. In today’s society, people are easily distracted by material possessions and technology. I admit that the convenience of attending live-streamed masses has overtaken my desire to be physically present in church. No need to wake up early, to change off home clothes, not even wash my face.

However, after seeing these five gentlemen, and hearing about their dedication into becoming a deacon made me realize something: that the waking up early, the washing of face, and the changing in my “Sunday’s best” outfit is not for me to look good, but, for me to be presentable an I enter the house of my Father and to listen to His words.

In the Gospel, we heard the Lord said, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send our laborers for his harvest.” How courageous are these five men to take over the responsibility entrusted in them!

When I saw my uncle finally fully vested as a deacon, my eyes became misty – well, who am I kidding, me and my parents became teary eyed the minute he entered the church wearing an alb. You see, my mothers own uncle recently passed away. He was a Priest. So having Uncle Marvin ordained as deacon is very special to us.

After the ceremony, we all gathered to celebrate my uncle. I met families from all over. One family drove from DC, another from Virginia and North Carolina. A family of 4 flew from Seattle, another from Canada. Two families came all the way from the Philippines. Most cousins I met for the first time. We bonded over food and games, and it was so much fun. The next day, Sunday, was Deacon Marvin’s (it feels wonderful calling him that!) first mass. We listened to his very first homily, and during the Holy Communion, my family and I got the chance to receive the host from him. I truly did not want that weekend to end, but alas, we had to make the 8-hour drive home to Massachusetts. What an opportunity granted upon me to experience all these. It was overwhelming….in a good way!

I’d like to end with a prayer that was said during the ordination, “Look favorably on these your servants, we pray, O Lord, whom we humbly dedicate to serve at your holy altars in the office of the Diaconate. Send forth the Holy Spirit upon them, O Lord, we pray, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace to carry out faithfully the work of the ministry”

Written by: ALEENA BORRA, Confirmation-1