Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and Deacon Dan Burns of the Office Permanent Diaconate Formation (back row, right) are pictured with the permanent deacon class of 2012. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
SOUTH END -- Standing before their wives, children, friends and parishioners, 10 men were ordained permanent deacons by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley on Sept. 22 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
"The Church is blessed to have these 10 fine men answer the call of God," Cardinal O'Malley said in his homily.
Those ordained are Deacons Robert C. Balzarini, Vincent Gatto, James T. Hinkle, Michael C. Joens, Jonathan Jones, Brian K. Kean, Thomas O'Shea, Louis J. Piazza, William K. Reidy, and Paulo Torrens.
"It is a great thrill to have Paulo in this class," stressed Cardinal O'Malley, noting that he is the first member of the Brazilian community to be ordained a permanent deacon.
The deacon, from the Greek "diakonos," meaning servant or minister, is the first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church. Among the many functions they perform in parishes, deacons may preside at baptisms, weddings and rites of Christian burial, assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and deliver homilies. In addition to parish assignments, each of the new deacons will also assist in the work of one of the central ministries of the archdiocese.
In his homily, the cardinal exhorted the men to a life of service to the Church and to the faithful.
"Christ is our master, but he comes to serve, not to be served," he said. "This, too, is the role of a deacon."