By Lola Michael Russell
In the early evening of the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, July 22, 2018, Marta del Carmen Illueca was ordained a Transitional Deacon by the Rt. Rev. Kevin S. Brown at Christ Church, Christiana Hundred. The joyful service was well attended by Christ Church parishioners, visitors from throughout the diocese, and four pews of Marta’s family and guests, many from Panama, her home country.
After a magnificent Prelude, a welcome from the Rev. Ruth Beresford, and the entrance hymn of Lift High the Cross, Bishop Brown read the Collect in Spanish. The service bulletin was printed in English and Spanish and several sections of the service were either read in Spanish or simultaneously translated. The music throughout the celebration was superb and included a beautiful Spanish version of You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore as the Communion Hymn.
Brown, who wore a cope until it was time to wear a chasuble for the Eucharist, preached the sermon with humor and appreciation for Marta’s impressive professional academic and medical experience. Twenty-four clergy from Delaware and beyond, vested in white stoles, participated in the celebration, which was followed by a bounteous reception.
The Rev. Deacon Marta del Carmen Illueca, who as a Transitional Deacon will ultimately be ordained a priest, said, “My ordination was a spiritual experience beyond words, a true gathering of faithful hearts united in loving Christian fellowship. I am both humbled and honored to have been called to serve in the Diocese of Delaware. This is a blessed place!”