On July 1, Arrion Rosales-Llantos was ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Honolulu. This exciting step toward the priesthood is a milestone for any seminarian. Currently, he is assigned to Annunciation Catholic Church in Waimea and will remain there until he returns for his last year of seminary formation.
“The most memorable moments from my ordination would, without a doubt, be the prostration and the laying on of hands by the bishop,” Deacon Arrion says. “The moment where I hugged my parents after my vesting as a deacon was also very powerful and emotional.”
A transitional deacon is a deacon like any other deacon. However, transitional deacons will be ordained to the priesthood after a set amount of time, typically less than a year. Bishop Silva will decide when Deacon Arrion will be ordained in the spring of 2023.
This path to the priesthood began many years ago for Deacon Arrion.
“I first heard the call to the priesthood when I was a junior in high school, but wanted to pursue my own career choices,” he says. “At the time, I considered a career in public service, which then became a desire to work in law enforcement. I attended the University of Hawai`i at Hilo to pursue this path. To build my credentials, I tried to join the United States Army Hawaii National Guard — however, God had other plans. After being denied enlistment, I began to consider God’s calling more seriously.
“To help discernment, I attended daily Mass in between classes at St. Joseph’s Church in Hilo and Fr. Lio encouraged me to enter seminary immediately,” he adds. “Even though I had registered for another year of classes at UH Hilo, I left Hawai`i to attend Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon as a seminarian for the Diocese of Honolulu.”
Although seminary has had its difficulties, just like any other vocation, Deacon Arrion says it has had many blessings — including those of friendship and brotherhood. As he returns for his last year of seminary, Deacon Arrion is especially looking forward to spending time with his close friends at the seminary that he has gotten to know over the last eight years.
“God has placed many good men and women in my life to help me discern my vocation, encourage me when I was going through hard times, and journey with me as I work to please God,” Deacon Arrion says. “Along with this came the maturity that I need to be more rooted in my faith and the reality that I am a sinner, and that God has chosen me to serve Him.”
As Catholics, we are called to pray for holy vocations. May the testament of Deacon Arrion be a reminder to pray especially for good and holy priests to serve our community.
“God needs more good and holy priests to serve His Church,” Deacon Arrion says. “Fewer and fewer men are answering the call to the priesthood. Christ and His Church need more men to step up and answer the call. No one is perfect. But the call to the priesthood is exactly that, a calling. We can choose to ignore it, dismiss it, or answer it with firmness and trust in God’s love and mercy. God does not call the qualified — God qualifies those called. The Gospel I chose for my ordination sums up the vocation to the priesthood, ‘It was not you that chose me, but I who chose you’ (John 15:16).”