In Service to the Church
Article by Edyta Wolk
Photos by Marie Wynn
On July 14 at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, three men were ordained to the order of the permanent diaconate.
Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D. welcomed candidates Dan D’Amelio, Bryan Jones, and Kim Thompson, as well as their wives and families, to the church for the celebration of the rite of ordination.
“We all rejoice with you,” the Bishop said to the ordinands. “We likewise congratulate you for your willingness to pursue this calling and for your readiness to lay down your lives in service of the Lord’s church.”
Family and friends of the three candidates filled half the church, with the remaining pews being filled by parishioners from throughout the diocese. The wives of the candidates were involved in the liturgy, proclaiming the first two readings and later presenting the gifts.
Deacon Michael Puscas, Director of Permanent Deacon Personnel, proclaimed the Gospel and then called each candidate individually to be presented to Bishop Cote.
During his homily, Bishop Cote emphasized a deacon’s mission of “bringing God’s word to believers and unbelievers alike,” doing so “by presiding over public prayer, by baptizing, by assisting at marriages, and blessing them, by giving Viaticum to the dying, and by leading funeral rites.”
“They will be called upon to perform works of charity in my name and in the name of their pastors,” Bishop Cote said. “From the manner in which they go about these sacred duties may the faithful recognize in them true disciples of Christ, who came to serve and not to be served.”
The Bishop advised the men to call on the strength of the Holy Spirit. “Rely always on this mighty gift,” he said, “calling upon the Spirit often in the course of each day.”
Finally, he reminded them of the importance of their personal witness. “Never forget that the word of God will not be proclaimed nor heard unless it is spoken by ministers who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, witness to the reality of this word in their own lives,” he said.
After the homily, the three candidates stood before the Bishop and made the promise of the elect, during which they swore their dedication to the office of diaconate and their obedience to Bishop Cote and his successors.
The congregation then recited the litany of supplication for the men, who prostrated themselves before the altar. This all culminated in the actual conferment of the sacrament of Holy Orders, when the Bishop laid his hands upon the head of each elect and read the prayer of ordination.
The new deacons were vested with stoles and dalmatics, each by a priest or deacon of his own choice. Reverend Gregoire J. Fluet, Very Rev. Gregory Galvin, and Reverend Raymond D. Introvigne served as the vestors.
Kneeling before Bishop Cote, the three deacons were then handed the Book of the Gospels while the Bishop said to them, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”
Those present applauded the newly ordained at the conclusion of the ceremony, and the celebration continued during the reception that followed.
Coming only two weeks after a priestly ordination, this consecration to the diaconate was not only a celebration of three individual men but of the gift of vocations that God has given the diocese. Together, the diocesan community rejoiced at this manifestation of God’s grace.