Ordination of Father Duane Trombetta to the Priesthood

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by Jessica Rinaudo

An ordination to the priesthood is the crowning moment of years of hard work, study and discernment by the seminarian. And on June 9, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Bishop Michael Duca laid his hands on the head of Duane Trombetta, ordaining and welcoming him into the long awaited sacrament of the Catholic priesthood.

Born and raised in Shreveport, Fr. Trombetta attended the former Christ the King School in Bossier City, before graduating from Caddo Magnet High School and then LSU-Shreveport with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He went on to a successful career in the insurance and surety industry, working and living in many cities across the United States. He always remained close to God and stayed involved in the Catholic Church.

In 2008 though, Trombetta began to pursue God’s call to discernment of a religious vocation in his life that led him to be accepted into the Congregation of the Mission – the Vincentians – in 2011. During this time of living a religious life, he attended the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he excelled in the spiritual, pastoral and academic, but still felt called to another vocation.

This eventually led Trombetta home to visit family in Shreveport. There, with the help of Msgr. Earl V. Provenza, he began to seriously discern a vocation to the diocesan priesthood. Trombetta began assisting Msgr. Provenza in his work at Holy Trinity Parish in downtown Shreveport.

In 2012, Trombetta began the application process to become a diocesan seminarian, and was soon accepted. He attended Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. During his time in seminary, he had the opportunity to witness and engage in many types of ministry, all of which were instrumental in leading him to follow God’s will for his life.

In 2016, he served in a chaplain internship program at a hospital in Orlando, FL, and it was while he was stationed there that the deadly nightclub shooting happened. In a 2016 Catholic Connection story, Trombetta relayed, “Sadly, just after I arrived in Orlando, a terrible shooting was perpetrated at a nightclub located across town from my hospital assignment. It was the deadliest mass killing and worst terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11. The unspeakable violence inflicted spiritual and emotional suffering upon not just those present, but upon all the people of Orlando. The victims of that shooting were taken to a trauma hospital downtown, but many ripple effects were felt at my hospital in the northern suburb of Altamonte Springs. That brought about some of the most difficult challenges I faced as a chaplain serving the sick and suffering of Orlando.”

He continued, “I encountered many diverse people with varied reasons for hospitalization. Some expressed gratitude, others grief, and still others just needed a sympathetic ear. I prayed with many. I experienced celebrations of the joys of new life and love, and I learned how to minister to families at moments of dying and death. One thing remained consistent: every time I entered a patient’s room, I received an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ in a fellow human being. My work with patients proved to be a most fulfilling, rewarding and prayerful supplement to my seminary studies and formation.”

In June of 2017, Trombetta was ordained a transitional deacon and appointed to serve his diaconate internship at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. In a 2017 interview, Trombetta said, “I think, ironically, some of the most normal and average days [of my work at the Cathedral] give the best sense of what priesthood is going to be like. For example, just an average day is difficult to plan on a calendar because there are many contingencies that arrive, such as funerals and pop in visits from parishioners in need.”

He added, “Getting to know the people of the parishes is going to be a real blessing for me. I look forward to participating with them in the high points of their lives – baptisms and marriages – and also working with them in the most difficult times of their lives, such as funerals and other struggles,” said Trombetta.

In the final months, as Trombetta prepared to be ordained to the priesthood, he was able to visit the Holy Land with his fellow deacon seminarians.

“I give my assurance that I included you all in my prayers at the holy sites of Israel. It is because of your witness and generosity that I seek more eagerly now to carry out the Great Commission set forth by Christ himself. My journey has been challenging but joyful. And now as my final semester at Notre Dame Seminary draws to a close, I look forward with great anticipation to receipt of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to priestly ordination in June, and to serving the faithful people of Christ in our diocese.”

And the people of the Diocese responded, in turn, by filling up the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans on June 9, for Deacon Duane Trombetta’s ordination to the priesthood.

“The sacrament of Holy Orders, like all sacraments, carries with it a wonderful blessing of God’s closeness to us. It draws us in to the very life of God,” said Bishop Michael Duca during the ordination Mass.

He continued, “You receive that sacrament today. You become a priest today – a priest of Jesus Christ. But it is a sacrament that you live now for the rest of your life, those graces of the sacrament pouring in to help you be faithful, and be that true witness of Christ in the world. … God is ordaining you, Duane, you as a unique individual in the Body of Christ, and those unique talents and gifts – God will use those.”

After Father Duane was ordained, Bishop Duca announced that Fr. Trombetta will serve as Parochial Vicar for St. Joseph Parish in Zwolle for two years. •

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