NEWARK, NJ – The Archdiocese of Newark welcomed five transitional deacons and one permanent deacon during the ordination rite at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Newark, on Sunday May 23rd.

The transition deacons – Matthew Gonzalez, David Hinojosa, Roberto Moreno, Peter Volz, and Ashton Francisco Wong – are all seminarians who will serve in their new roles until they are ordained priests in 2022. As deacons, they can perform works of charity and service, proclaim the word of God, and assist in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church in the archdiocesan parish assigned to them in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, or Union counties.

Edwin T. Dava, the permanent deacon, will serve in his ward part-time, balancing his marriage and career responsibilities. His ordination was particularly significant after surviving COVID-19 last year, an achievement he attributes to the power of prayer.

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Most Venerable Manuel A. Cruz, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, ordained the new deacons in a mass filled with the relatives and priests of the ordinands from across the archdiocese. Afterward, Bishop Cruz told the deacons that the Church needed them and was eagerly waiting for them to share the good news of the gospel.

For more information on Vocations, please visit Those interested in the permanent diaconate program in the Archdiocese of Newark are invited to visit

Ashton Francisco Wong, who attends Holy Family Church at Nutley, was one of six new deacons ordained to serve in the Archdiocese of Newark on May 23.