“You are meant to be a counter-sign of the world in which you live by becoming a living sign of service,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano to the five men he ordained to the Permanent Diaconate this morning at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.
Hundreds of family members, friends, clergy and faithful filled the Cathedral to celebrate the ordination of the five men who are also husbands and fathers: Christopher Greer of Westport, George Kain of Ridgefield, James Meehan of Westport, Rock Desances of Bridgeport, and Vincent Pia of Brookfield. The deacons have professional backgrounds in business, education, the service industry, and photography.
The congregation broke into applause several times to show their happiness and appreciation for the men who became candidates for the diaconate on October 26, 2019, received the ministry of reader on October 17, 2020, and received the ministry of acolyte on December 11, 2021.
The bishop said that the men have “walked a long journey of discovery and formation” to arrive at the moment of ordination, which remains both gift and mystery.
‘In a world where life is all about me, you are a sacrament of living life for others. There will never be a moment when you are not a deacon, and what you do will not be easy.’
He told them they will be serving in a long line of deacons whose origins are described in the Acts of the Apostles, when seven were entrusted with the ministry of charity and service to the poorest of the poor.
The bishop pointed out that the Church’s definition of ministerial service goes beyond the care provided by the contemporary service industry.
“That’s not what we’re celebrating today. Our Master and Savior defines service as a ministry to give my life as ransom for the many—that’s the Christian definition of service.”
“In a world where life is all about me, you are a sacrament of living life for others. There will never be a moment when you are not a deacon, and what you do will not be easy” bishop told the men who knelt before him in front of the altar.
Whether in the pulpit, at work, or doing everyday things at home in ordinary life, the deacon must pour out his life to all those who trust in him, he said.
“You can’t do it without the Holy Spirit,” he said, urging the men to be courageous, and generous of heart as they point people to Christ. “You must bring the hopes and dreams of God’s people when you come to the altar,” he said.
He said they can always turn to the Blessed Mother for help.
“How blessed we are to gather on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” the bishop said, adding that he dedicated the new deacons to the Blessed Mother, who will also protect and guide their work, “Through her heart we come to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” he said.
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!