Balajadia to be ordained deacon on Oct. 11



2007 Mount Carmel School alumnus and sole seminarian James Balajadia will be ordained a deacon next Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. The diaconate ordination will take place at Mount Carmel Cathedral at 10am. The ceremony will bring the Saipan native another step closer to becoming a priest in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. 

The official role of a deacon, defined by the Church, is to aid the bishop in worship, charity and pastoral preaching. With his ordination, Balajadia will be able to baptize people, conduct funerals, and officiate marriages.

In preparation for his ordination, Balajadia took part in a one week retreat in Mount Angel Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

Balajadia, said there is a lot of peace and inner joy in his life after completing his seven-year journey in the seminary. 

“I am as ready as I can ever be for something like this in my life. I look forward to the preaching, celebration of sacraments, and being able to do more as a deacon.”

Balajadia recently completed his graduate studies and formation to the priesthood at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome after transferring from Mount Angel in fall of 2012, where he double majored in Philosophy and Literature. 

The Saipan native has been assisting in local Mass services and co-teaching theology classes at his alma mater. 

He urges young men in the CNMI to consider the priesthood as a vocation. 

“There still needs to be education about what is a vocation to the priesthood, what the journey is like, and what the process is,” Balajadia explained. 

He said he received tremendous support from his family and friends when he announced his desire to become a priest right after high school.

“It is no secret that this vocation is a difficult one. All I can say to the young men out there is that there it a lot of joy in it. People think entering this vocation takes things away from you, but I have gained everything through Christ.”

He credited his success to his alma mater, parents, relatives, and friends. “I want thank all of them for their support, prayers, and encouragement throughout all my years in the seminary. I offer them words of thanksgiving and gratitude, as well as my prayers for them and their families.

His main goal when he is officially a part of the Holy Order, he said, is to grow in holiness. 

“I want to continue to grow and know who Christ is. I want to continue to strive and model my life with the life of Jesus,” he said. “It has been a rough journey, but it’s always been about Jesus Christ in the end”

The Diocese of Chalan Kanoa said that Balajadia is expected to be ordained a priest within the next six months. 

Thomas Manglona II | Correspondent

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