Fifteen men started a new life of ministry and service to the Church as they were ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone on Feb. 6.
The liturgy took place before a socially-distanced crowd of family, fellow deacons and well-wishers at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
The ordinations offer continued evidence of the strong permanent diaconate program in the diocese. This was the third large class in a row, following 35 men who were ordained in 2016 and another 16 in 2019. There are currently 37 other candidates in formation and 189 in the process of applying, according to Deacon André Guillet, diocesan director for the Diaconate Office.
Deacon Guillet said he was incredibly proud of the 15 men, and he praised the friendships the men formed during their years of study. He also said the day was bittersweet for two of the new deacons, brothers Mark and Michael Thompson, whose mother passed away the morning of the ordination.
“At the beginning of the week she had told her sons that she wanted to be with their father in Heaven and to watch their ordination from heaven, and that is what happened,” Deacon Guillet said.
The ceremony of ordaining permanent deacons includes many elements. Bishop Guglielmone gave a homily that explained the new deacons’ responsibilities. He called on them to be men of prayer, to live upstanding moral lives and to show love to all of God’s people.
“You do not walk alone but rather with God who sends you into this life of mission,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “We live in difficult times when adversity, rejection and struggle is real, but be generous and sincere in your response to people. Reach out to them with love, understanding and compassion, and trust in the Lord always.”
Bishop Guglielmone offered a special blessing to the new deacons’ wives and thanked them for their dedication and support for their husbands during the years of rigorous study it takes to prepare for the diaconate.
Congratulations and welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!