Ordinations to the Diaconate

Friday, Jun. 10, 2022
Ordinations to the Diaconate + Enlarge
Seminarians Oscar Marquina and André Sicard
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

On June 24, seminarians Oscar Marquina and André Sicard will be ordained to the diaconate; both men are expected to be ordained as priests next year.
As a young adult, Marquina pursued an education as an environmental engineer and worked in the field for several years, but he still felt drawn to the priesthood. The seed for his future calling was planted while he served as president of the Newman Center at Utah State University, he said. 
It was a “snowball effect,” where “I wanted to know more and more about my faith, and it just clicked that I was called to the priesthood,” said Marquina, who entered Mt. Angel Seminary in 2016 and completed two years of pre-theology (philosophy). He then attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he currently is finishing his theology degree. Subsequently he will begin the canon law licentiate, a three-year program. 
Last year he spent his pastoral year at St. John the Baptist Parish in Draper helping with the youth group, assisting at Mass and staffing the front desk. In the summer of 2020 he served in the Cathedral of the Madeleine and worked with Father Langes Silva, diocesan judicial vicar, at the diocesan tribunal. This year, following his diaconal ordination, he will spend the summer at Christ the King Parish in Cedar City.
“I’m eager to start serving the diocese as an ordained minister,” he said. “I’m at peace after all these years of preparation and studies. I’m also relieved because it is a long path, and I have been looking toward this moment for the past six years.”
Although Marquina has found his true calling in the priesthood, he also felt great joy in serving as a lay person in the Church, a path that is open to all faithful Catholics, he said.
“The presence of God is important in the life of a person in this day and age,” he said, “because knowing God, knowing Christ, helps us be more grateful for the gifts that we have in this life. It also gives us guidance and strength in difficulties we encounter through life. More importantly, it’s where we find light and truth.”
Marquina hopes at some point that his education in canon law will enable him to serve in the diocesan tribunal, which processes cases for married couples seeking to obtain a declaration of invalidity of marriage, and also provides canonical counsel.
“It’s a very specific and unique area of service, but it is a much-needed area of service,” he said. “It draws me that I can help the diocese and faithful Catholics and couples and my brother priests. I can serve from that office.”
As he moves forward on his path to the priesthood, Marquina knows he has not made the journey alone, he said.
“I am very grateful for all of the prayers and for all of the support they have given me through the diocese,” he said.
For Sicard, being called to the priesthood has been a lifetime discernment that began when his mother took him to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a small child.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Sicard moved with his family to Sandy, Utah when he was 2 so his father could work for his cousin.
As he attended Adoration regularly at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, a love for the Church and the Savior and a desire to serve him grew in Sicard.
“Early on I had a feeling I wanted to be a priest; I would even play Mass at home as a small child,” said Sicard, who became an altar server when he was 5. “As I grew up, it became more serious discernment.” 
During his senior year of high school as he pondered his future, Father Martin Diaz, his pastor at the time, urged him to explore the path to priesthood. Sicard spoke with the diocesan vocations director at the time, the late Deacon Ricardo Arias, and any last doubts were swept aside when one day he read a daily reflection. 
“It talked about that we don’t always know where the Spirit is calling us and it might not be the easiest thing or exactly what’s completely comfortable, but if we just surrender ourselves to God and the Spirit, that we’ll go wherever God wants us,” he said. “It really felt like God was speaking to me in that moment saying you should go to the seminary. I felt that God was telling me to take the jump.”
In August 2015 Sicard enrolled at Mt. Angel Seminary. He graduated from there in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, religious studies and literature. He recently received a Doctor of Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America and has begun a three-year canon law program there at the request of Bishop Oscar A. Solis.
Sicard has served at his home parish and St. George Parish during the summers of his seminary years. This year he will work at St. Joseph Parish in Ogden.
He is looking forward to being ordained a deacon.
“I think after seven years of seminary formation I feel excited to move onto this next phase of the formation process toward priesthood,” he said. “I feel so very humbled as I think about all of the people who have supported me throughout my journey: parishioners, so many priests, Fr. Martin Diaz, Fr. Jose [Barrera] at St. Therese’s, my family, friends and other seminarians along with the faculty at the seminary.”
“I feel excited and humbled as I think about the immense responsibility of being a deacon and ultimately being a priest, of what is asked of you, to be present and give all of yourself to the People of God and ministry for them,” he added.

The ordinations of the new deacons will take place during the same Mass at which Deacon Tristan Dillon will be ordained to the priesthood. THe Mass will be Friday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 309 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City. All are welcome, but seating is limited. The Mass will be livecast on the cathedral’s YouTube channel, cotmtv.

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