Ordination of Deacon Ivan Rojas to the Diaconate
Deacon Ivan Rojas was ordained on Saturday, November 7th at All Saints Parish in Mesa.
Ivan’s Installation Mass was held at St. Anne on Sunday, November 8th at 1:00pm in Spanish. Ivan has been assigned by Bishop Olmsted to St. Anne. Congratulations Deacon Ivan!
Deacon Ivan Rojas's Vocation Story
I was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia; raised in a family where the love for God was shown in serving others. One of the earliest memories I have is as a 4-year-old child taking a bowl of soup to a homeless man that was sleeping on an empty lot near our house. Another fond memory I have as a child is the love that my parents have for the Sacred Heart and for the Blessed Virgin Mary. For my parents, the meaning of serving God did not stop at serving those in need, it also meant to serve His Church. My mom always volunteered at our parish with the Church decoration. One day she heard they were looking for teenagers to help during Holy Week and she volunteered me. Very soon I became a core member of the youth ministry and from that point I got to work along many priests. That was the first time I saw the needs of those men who gave up their own families to become our spiritual fathers. I graduated from high school at the Saint Thomas Aquinas School and went to the Saint Thomas Aquinas University to pursue a degree in Electronic Engineering. At that point I had stopped working with the youth ministries; my faith was idle, and I didn’t have a relationship with God.
It wasn’t until the last year of classes at the university that a friend invited me to pray the rosary at his house. And from that day on, Mary brought me back to Her son and to His Church. The love for the Eucharist that my Dominican school chaplain had inspired in me when I was 8-year-old returned. The appreciation for the sacramental life of the Church grew a 100-fold and confession was no longer something I avoided, instead became something I would seek out regularly. With my friend and the help of others that had join us in praying the rosary every week we started feeding the homeless every Friday night. We stopped going out and instead would save that money to buy bread, cocoa, ham, etc. to feed those in need, but knowing fully that it was Jesus feeding us.
It was in that group of young adults that I met Ines, my wife. I met her in a time when I was asking God for my wife: I didn’t know who my wife was, but I was praying for her. Little by little, with Every eucharist I offered for that wife, with every day of fasting I offered for her and with every Rosary I prayed for her God brought me close to Ines. It wasn’t until Good Friday in 1994 that we found our love for each other through the Cross of Christ. Our Blessed Mother was also constantly present in our relationship, and for that reason we chose to marry on May 13, 1995. Back then we thought that we were doing that just for Her; like two giddy kids giving a nice gift to their Mother. Little did we know that She would take that very small act and become our marriage advocate and protector.
After getting married in Colombia we moved to California, relocated back to Colombia, to finally move back to the Phoenix area in 1999. Within a year God led us to S.t Anne and almost immediately became our spiritual home. By getting involved in the life of the parish, I found out that the priests here in the U.S. needed help as the priests in Colombia, only that the need is many times bigger. After a couple of years of being at St. Anne, I heard the first invitation to the Permanent Diaconate. I had no idea what a Deacon was, and honestly, I never paid too much attention to St. Stephen or St. Phillip or the other 5 chosen in Acts 6. From that invitation forth, I began learning more about the Diaconate, the person of Christ the Servant, and all the amazing Deacons that had lived throughout Church history.
In 2020, Ines, our three daughters, and I will celebrate 20 years of being at St. Anne. During all these years we have been blessed to find in St. Anne a family that has helped us grow closer to God, to His Church, and to the Sacraments. We have also found a family that truly cares for us but more importantly that prays for us. I personally thank every person that has carried me through formation with their prayers. I know that it is because of their constant and powerful intersession that God has granted me the graces to make this far.
I hope that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the intersession of the Most Venerable Virgin Mary, and the continuous prayer of my wife, my daughters, my family, and my St. Anne family, God will give me every grace I need to respond to the call to the Permanent Diaconate so as to lay down my life for His Church.
Published October 25, 2020 , Event