Deacons encouraged at 2nd annual convocation

Cardinal-designate O’Malley imparts his blessing on permanent deacons and their wives during their March 11 convocation.

BRIGHTON — Nearly 140 permanent deacons and their wives reflected on the vocation of a deacon to the service of truth, love and the Eucharist during their second annual convocation at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton on March 11.

“We come together as a diaconate family because you share this vocation, a vocation of service to the truth, to love and to the Eucharist, which is where truth and love meet,” said Msgr. Frank Caggiano, who addressed those gathered in the morning and afternoon. Msgr. Caggiano now serves the Diocese of Brooklyn as the director of the Office of Evangelization and Pastoral Life, but was the director of the permanent diaconate in that diocese for several years.

Msgr. Caggiano’s first talk was followed by Mass celebrated by Cardinal-designate Seán P. O’Malley and an address by the cardinal-designate on the state of affairs in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Cardinal-designate O’Malley said that several different initiatives are coming together throughout the archdiocese and he is optimistic about the future. Among those are three new pastoral committees and the completion of financial transparency sometime in April.

The cardinal-designate cited reduced donations, the downturn in the stock market and increased expenses as reasons that the archdiocese has been operating at a deficit of $10 million a year.

“We need to stop the bleeding to turn things around,” he said. “It’s not all doom and gloom, but challenges fiscally are very, very great.”

The financial situation has improved over the last few years as the Catholic Annual Appeal campaign has slowly raised more money for the archdiocese, he said.

Cardinal-designate O’Malley also spoke about the three new pastoral committees for pastoral planning, marriage, and faith formation. Young Catholics need to be well-formed in their faith and have a sense of vocation, he said.

“Certainly one of the overriding concerns in the archdiocese is the question of vocation recruitment,” he said, adding that young people must also understand marriage as a vocation.

“The crisis of marriage is one of the greatest crises we face as a Church and as a society,” he said.

Fewer people are getting married in the country, the state of Massachusetts and the Catholic Church. Additionally, the state’s redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples has made the institution adult-centered rather than child-centered, he said.

“I know many of you as deacons and your wives are involved in marriage preparation,” he said. “We have to do it better than we are, even though I think that many of you are doing yeoman’s work.”

After Cardinal-designate O’Malley addressed the deacons and their wives, Msgr. Caggiano gave his second talk about the words of St. Paul, “Let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ.”

Before people can profess the truth, they have to know what — or better yet — who the truth is. The truth is not a thing but a person to be encountered, he said.

“We come to realize that the truth is not something I possess, I decide, I manipulate but rather the truth is someone I discover whom I do not posses but He possesses me and takes over my life,” he said. “We live in a world, a modern world, that does not want to hear what I just said.”

The truth must also take over a Christian’s life so that he or she can live a life of love. Deacons must demonstrate that love to their fellow Catholics.

“As deacons and wives, the grace of the sacrament, the grace of your ordination, endures in your life,” he said. “You who are given this ministry of the Word can help your brothers and sisters rediscover who Jesus is.”

Deacons must begin by loving their family the way Christ loves — without expecting anything in return, and they must love with a joyful heart. Joy is a “deep sense of contentment” that all things are well in the Lord, Msgr. Caggiano said.

“It is joy that will bring people home. If we become a community of the truth, love and joy, then we will have answered the question of what it means to be Catholic,” he said.

Deacon Anthony Rizzuto, director of the Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight, said Msgr. Caggiano’s talks were “inspiring.”

“It’s wonderful to get together as deacons and hear a very inspiring talk from the monsignor,” he said.

Deacon Joe Whipple, who serves at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Marblehead, said he was glad to hear from Cardinal-designate O’Malley. The dialogue they had is an “expression of the bond of unity between the archbishop and [the]diaconate,” he said.

Deacon Whipple added that he hoped to reflect on the convocation and gain a clearer appreciation for what it means to be a deacon and how he can more effectively answer the call he received at his ordination.

Joanne Gaffney, whose husband is a deacon who serves at Immaculate Conception in Revere, said that the convocation was “uplifting.”

“It’s more food for the journey. We need days like this to keep us fresh, alive and give us grace for the journey,” she said.


Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

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 ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

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 ...

Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

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&rsquo;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 Vigan&ograve; about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...