A grateful diaconal bow to Paul Counce, for alerting me to this!
The new deacons are: Alec Campbell, Christopher Landry, William Messenger, Ehren Oschwald, Mark Reynaud and Gabriel Rico.
…Father Jamin David wore the smile of a proud papa as he watched the ordination of six new permanent deacons by Bishop Michael G. Duca on Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.
And why not?
Father David, Director of Diaconate Formation, not only was one of the programs architect’s six years ago but has been its curator ever since.
“It is a sense of pride,” said Father David. “This marks the culmination of a five-year program, and now we have five years of candidates with new (deacons) to replace the outgoing (deacons).”
He said the diocese is one of the few in the country with a continual formation program, adding that many dioceses only accept a group of new candidates every three to five years.
Father David was appointed to his position by Bishop-Emeritus Robert W. Muench in 2014, inheriting an outdated program that was still a part of the former Religious Studies Institute, which was originally developed in the 1980s for the formation of professional religious educators. Under the previous setup, deacon candidates were in RSI for three years and then under the direction of St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict for the final three.
Both RSI and the diaconate formation program were accredited through St. Joseph but Father David noted because of the disparate ways in which similar courses were addressed, accreditation became a challenge.
“What (St. Joseph) was requiring at the seminary was not what RSI was requiring off campus,” Father David said. “We lived in a different world.”
…Father David believes deacons can play a valuable role in the dynamics of the modern church. He said candidates traditionally come from a professional background and their administrative skills would be of great benefit, especially to a (priest) “who does not want his hands in administration. Or in a parish that is growing where we just don’t have enough priestly resources, the deacon can help in a sacramental way.”
“There is a dynamic they bring that priests don’t,” he added. “They are clergy but unlike priests they have a foot in two different worlds: the world of clerics and the secular world of reality.”
He went on to say that deacons are in some sense “a little bit closer to the laity and able to understand and empathize with the struggles faced by lay people that priests do not. They bring with them their lived experiences of marriage and in that way they are able to minister to some people in some ways a priest might not be able to.”
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!
Want more news about deacons?