By TAMI QUIGLEY
This spring a seminarian will be ordained a transitional deacon on his vocational journey to the priesthood in the Diocese of Allentown.
Bishop Emeritus of Allentown Edward Cullen will ordain John Hutta II at the Diaconate Ordination during a ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown Saturday, May 20 at 10:30 a.m.
“In a vacant see, if the diocesan administrator is not himself a bishop, he may give permission for another bishop in union with the Holy See to ordain candidates to the diaconate and the presbyterate by issuing a formal written permission know as a dismissorial letter,” said Msgr. David James, director of the diocesan Office of Vocations.
“Msgr. Alfred Schlert has issued this letter to Bishop Cullen.”
“Mr. Hutta was accepted as a seminarian in 2011. He is a very hard worker. He has a gift for working with the sick and the elderly, but also with young people. At Quo Vadis, he is the first seminarian that the campers want to greet when they arrive,” said Msgr. James.
“He is a very generous and kind-hearted young man.”
“A deacon is called to serve the people of God in imitation of Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served. I believe that John will be a true servant of the people of God,” Msgr. James said.
Hutta, 28, is a parishioner of Sacred Heart, Palmerton and the son of John Hutta and Diane Hutta. He has five siblings – Angela, Vanessa, JoLynn, Shawn and Sklyer. “I have many nephews and nieces, whom I adore very much,” Hutta said.
“Throughout grade school, I served the Mass and found delight in it. When I entered Tamaqua High School, I got involved with youth groups of our diocese and began to pray more consistently.
“Through my high school years and into my college years, I went to come and meet the bishop and seminarians for dinner nights, sponsored by the diocese. There I met some of the seminarians – guys who were interested in philosophy and answered the questions I had about the faith. In prayer and through those encounters with the seminarians and priests in my life, I saw men who loved Jesus Christ and lived their lives for him.
“I began to think that I might be able to live that life as well.
“Especially, during the Paschal Triduum and Octave of Easter my last year of college, God gave me the grace and courage I needed to take the plunge and test a vocation to the priesthood in the seminary. Since that time, he has brought me a long way and planted in my heart a great love for him, a love that I desire to share with others
“I look forward to serving the people of the diocese and sharing with them the pearl of great price, which I have found.”
“I have a huge family, plus my own heritage,” said Hutta, who grew up in a cultural background because of his grandparents, “who are very dear to me.”
“Slovak, Italian and Irish, those customs are my roots to the faith and fostered my vocation also,” he said.
“Tradition, tradition, tradition … know who you are, know where you come from. And if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are. And if you don’t know where you are, then you don't know where you’re going and you will not be well in what you do.”
“My grandparents used to say to me,” Hutta said, “so often people forget who they are, which is sad, because that helps the faith be rooted in families.
“My family are from the coal regions of this beautiful diocese and they have coal dust in their lungs as I do, too. It is a precious diamond of our diocese and a wonderful place. I love my family very much; they also fostered my vocation, even though I come from a divorced family.
“My family have supported me in my faith, and I think through my witness of my faith life has strengthened theirs also in some ways.”
Hutta said his parishes in his lifetime have been filled with wonderful and heartfelt people who pray for him every day and have a relationship with him.
“My home parish was SS. Cyril and Methodius in Coaldale, which was my home and fostered many things in my life, but when it closed I had to find another home to be planted, to grow, and to be planted – it was not easy,” Hutta said. “Eventually, I found it, Sacred Heart in Palmerton, and that became my wonderful home and that place fostered my vocation.”
Hutta said as a deacon he is looking forward to be present to God’s people and administering the sacrament of baptism.
“I’ll be able to spend more time in a parish with real people who lead real lives and build relationships with them, and I’ll be able to proclaim and preach the Good News at Mass and to baptize new children to our beautiful faith.”
Hutta said he always has several images that sum up his vocation and how he lives. “Servant after the heart of Christ, Christ: He is the vine and we are the branches, Christ: the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
“And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
“This is essential for all of us to be striving for to allow Christ working in us and through us with the Holy Spirit. It comes down to prayer, relationship, love, mercy and hope,” Hutta said.