Br. Koyé Hobbah François d’Alex, CSV, and Br. Kouadio N’Guessan Maurice, CSV, both of the Ivory Coast were ordained transitional deacons on April 6 in Abidjan. That same day, Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, was ordained to the diaconate during a Mass at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Br. Koye and Br. Maurice after their ordination.

Br. Koyé has felt a calling to the priesthood since he was an altar server as a child. He came to know the Viatorians through his brother, Magloire N’Dakon, who is a Viatorian associate, and a pair of Viatorian religious, Fr. Jean-Marc Kouassi, CSV, and Br. Kouassi Barthélemy, CSV.

“My Viatorian vocation made me grow in this desire to give myself to God by serving the community and the whole Church through pastoral animation and the celebration of faith,” Br. Koyé said.

A total of 22 deacons were ordained in Abidjan.

Br. Maurice describes the diaconate as a time of learning and of pastoral and liturgical service. He first came to know the Viatorians through Fr. Roger Debaud, CSV, who served as pastor of his home parish in Bouaké.

“I experience ordained ministry as a specific call from God within my Viatorian vocation,” Br. Maurice says, “and I’d like to respond to that call to serve the Church as a Viatorian, teacher, catechist and parish cleric.”

The diaconal ordination in Abidjan was celebrated by Mgr. Raymond Ahoua, Bishop of Grand-Bassam in Ivory Coast, who delivered this message to the newly ordained deacons: “Go into all the world: proclaim the good news of salvation to the whole world.”

During the celebration, which took place in the chapel of the Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus (ITCJ) in Abidjan, the bishop conferred the diaconate on 22 students from this Institute, inviting them to place themselves at the service of the Word of Jesus and the Christian Community, in the image of the apostles.

Br. Jhobany Orduz

The new deacons come from various congregations: 15 Jesuits, two Clerics of St. Viator and five Oblates of Saint François de Sales.

Br. Jhobany came to the Viatorian Community after meeting Fr. Frank Enciso, CSV. At the time he was a civil engineer and college professor in Bogotá, but he sought out a vocation to religious life in order to serve the poor.

“Jhobany’s ordination is a reason for gratitude to God,” Fr. Enciso says. “It gives me hope for the future in seeing this kind of commitment to our community.”

Br. Jhobany moved to the United States in 2020 to begin his seminary studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. With his ordination, he now will serve in sacramental ministry at Maternity BVM Parish.

“This ordination is an opportunity to continue working with — and for — my community, but now through the ministry of service,” Br. Jhobany said. “I hope to continue to be open to God´s mercy in my life and become a source of his mercy for others.”

In all, five Viatorian brothers have been ordained over the last year, including Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, CSV, in Bogotá, and Br. John Eustice, CSV, who was ordained to the diaconate in June. He will be ordained a priest on June 8, 2024 in Las Vegas.