by Dr. Mabel George Howard
On 29 May 2019, clergy, family, friends, and colleagues gathered to witness the Ordination of Dr. Charles Machesky to the Minor Orders of Cantor, Lector, and Subdeacon at Saint George Maronite Catholic Church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The Most Reverend Chorbishop Michael Thomas from Heart of Jesus Maronite Catholic Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders upon Charles. Throughout the ceremony, Chorbishop Thomas was assisted by Fr. El-Badaoui Habib, St. George Pastor & Sponsor; Fr. Rudolph Wakim, Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Maronite Church in Carnegie, PA; Subdeacon Thomas R. George; Subdeacon Dr. Mallard George, and Candidate Charles Michael. In his inspiring homily, Chorbishop Thomas emphasized the notion of “Looking Up” to God and the Heavens as Jesus did, not looking down and depressed. He emphasized the point that “Looking Up” will help guide us in the direction of eternal happiness.
As the ceremony continued, Charles received blessings from God as expressed by Chorbishop Thomas with the laying of the hands on Charles’ head. The Chorbishop cut a few locks of Charles’ hair in the form of a cross to show his commitment as the new Cantor. Led by his sponsor, Charles processed around the church while carrying the Book of Psalms. Again, the Chorbishop imposed both hands on Charles’ head, prayed, and blessed the new Lector. With his sponsor, Charles processed around the church carrying the Book of the Prophets. On his final presentation, Chorbishop again imposed his hands on Charles’ head. He blessed and vested Charles in the Subdeacon Alb and Stole confirming his induction into the Minor Orders. Accompanied by his sponsor, Charles processed throughout the churchcarrying the Acts of the Apostles. Charles opened and closed the church doors, rang the bells, and extinguished and lit a candle representing his role in caring for the church and calling the congregation to worship.
When asked why he chose the role of Maronite Subdeacon, Charles commented, "My wife, Mary, a lifelong member of St. George Church, and I were married in the Maronite Rite. Over the span of 44 years, I have grown to respect and admire the ancient Maronite beliefs, traditions, and rituals. I feel that the role of Subdeacon strengthens my faith in serving the church and community." Charles and his wife have three daughters and two grandchildren who supported him in this new religious journey. Following the Ordination, a wonderful reception was held in the church hall to commemorate this joyful event. Congratulations, Subdeacon Charles! We wish you many blessed years of serving God and His Church.