Fourteen permanent deacons ordained

A long applause greeted 14 candidates for the permanent diaconate, ordained on Sept. 18, after they were presented to the congregation at Holy Cross Cathedral. The rite of ordination to the order of deacon began with a procession and greeting by Archbishop Seán O’Malley.

“It is a very joyous, wonderful occasion to come together to consecrate the lives of so many fine men of our Church,” said the archbishop in his homily.

The first group of Christians had many things in common, but changes in the early Church caused diversity and tensions, he said.

After Peter entered the house of a gentile, the Church experienced “growing pains” as “Christ’s Church grew into a family without frontiers,” said the archbishop.

“He made a forbidden gesture entering the house of a gentile, and a new era began with the challenges of being a truly universal, a truly catholic Church” he added.

The solution to the tensions was the institution of the diaconate so that deacons could act as “bridge builders” and “peacemakers,” he said.

The first seven deacons, ordained by the Twelve Apostles, served the poor, widowed and orphaned, he said.

“So our deacons today must have a special love and solicitude for God’s little ones, for the poor, the sick, the homeless, prisoners, the alcoholics, the drug dealers, the lonely, the sinners and the forgotten,” he said.

Deacons are called to serve humanity with simplicity and be holy men of prayer, the archbishop said.

The archbishop addressed the deacons being ordained, saying, “You will distribute the Eucharist to the Church, hospitals and shut-ins. Be Eucharistic men. Spend time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”

He also advised the men to, “Take care of your beautiful wives.” All of the newly ordained deacons are husbands and fathers.

The call to the diaconate is about sacrifice and holiness, along with obedience and respect for bishops, he said.

Bishops are the spiritual heirs of the original Twelve Apostles, he added.

“Your ministry makes sense only in connection with the ministry of the bishop and the whole Church,” Archbishop O’Malley said.

The archbishop added that Jesus is calling the deacons to be His friends.

“The commitment of friendship goes farther than just being a job,” he said.

The diaconate is not about salary, he said. It is about friendship and love, and Jesus laid down His life because of His love for us.

“Every person on the day of his ordination should say to himself, ‘This is not about me. It is about Christ and serving His people,’” said the archbishop.

After the homily, the candidates further affirmed their intention to serve as deacons. Together they promised to consecrate themselves to ministry, have humble charity, proclaim the faith in word and deed, grow deeper in prayer and conform their lives to Christ.

One by one the candidates came forward and knelt before the archbishop, promising obedience to him and his successors.

During the litany of saints, the candidates lay prostrate before the altar as a sign of their humble submission to God’s will.

Then one at a time the candidates came forward, kneeling before the archbishop, for the laying on of hands and prayer of consecration.

Next each of the deacons’ wives handed a stole and dalmatic to a priest or deacon who vested her husband.

As each deacon came forward again, Archbishop O’Malley presented him with the Book of the Gospels, saying, “Receive the gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”

Then the archbishop — along with priests and deacons attending the ceremony —greeted each of the newly ordained during the Kiss of Peace.

During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, deacons’ wives presented the gifts and new Deacons Thomas W. Robison and Reynold G. Spadoni served at the altar.

The Cathedral festival choir, which included choir members from some of the parishes where the deacons minister, and the Cathedral brass ensemble played a processional song. A prolonged applause accompanied the music.

The first Boston deacons were ordained 1976, and an ordination takes place every two years. In the archdiocese, 308 men have been ordained to the permanent diaconate, and there are currently 204 active permanent deacons. There are 17 men in the class of 2006 and 18 men in the class of 2008.

Each deacon studies for four years at St. John Seminary in Brighton, but this years’ new deacons said the calling to the diaconate came long before their studies began.

“I think it’s something that’s been growing in me for 10 to 15 years,” said Deacon Phil DiBello after the ceremony.

Deacon DiBello began by volunteering in his parish, and the experience was so appealing that he wanted to do more, he said.

“The seed of service just grows and blossoms into the diaconate,” he said.

Deacon DiBello’s wife, Debra Fergus, said she is proud of all the men who were ordained to serve.

“God called them to the Church,” she said.

Fergus said her husband felt called for years, the couple waited until they knew their family could handle the “new adventure.”

 Laura Spadoni and her husband also spent time discerning.

“We prayed on it for a long time,” she said.

Her husband will serve at their home parish, Blessed Sacrament in Walpole, where one of their daughters will be confirmed this year.

Through giving, Spadoni and her husband have received more than they imagined, she said.

“The journey was a wonderful experience,” she said.

Deacon Stephen Papik said he also answered a calling, but in the end it was up to Jesus.

“I might have said yes, but He did most of the work,” he said.

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...