A grateful diaconal bow to my friend Father Michael Duffy (he’s the bearded one in the back row), rector of St. Agnes Cathedral, for passing along this happy news.

Bishop John Barres celebrated the ordination on Wednesday at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.

From his remarks after the closing prayer:

To our newly ordained permanent deacons and their wives: Deacon Terrence and Eileen Culhane, Deacon Michael and Tina Durso, Deacon Matthew and Eileen Faughnan, Deacon Gregory and Carolyn Fewer, Deacon John and Ann Heverin, Deacon Ronald and Rachel Lasca, Deacon Gerard and Deborah Magaldi, Deacon George Sprance (and his wife Josi whose soul we have remembered at this Mass), Deacon Vincent and Sharon Sweeney – we give thanks to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the way they have led you and your families to this historic day, an historic day in the life of your families, and an historic day for the Catholic Church on Long Island.

We give thanks to Mary, Mother of the Church, for interceding for you, and on his feast day, we are grateful to St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina for teaching us all to live Christ Crucified and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to embrace the graces of the Divine Mercy that flow from the Sacrament of Penance.

And he made note of this important detail:

One of the unique features of the Permanent Deacon Class of 2020 is that Deacon Gerard Magaldi is the father of Fr. Sean Magaldi, our diocesan director of Vocations. We congratulate Deacon Gerard’s wife and Fr. Sean’s mother, Deborah, and the entire family today who will enjoy seeing son and father together at the Altar of God.

With Fr. Magaldi and Deacon Magaldi, we expect all nine members of the Permanent Deacon Class of 2020 to cast nets constantly throughout Long Island for vocations to the priesthood.

Friends, today we have seen these nine new permanent deacons lay down in humble abandonment to divine providence and stand in our midst to promise their faithful service to God and the Church. This gift of witness moves us and enriches the Diocese of Rockville Centre with a clear 4 reminder of St. Paul’s beautiful truth: “for to me, life is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos! 

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