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Two groups take steps in formation as permanent deacons


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Two groups of men in the Archdiocese of Boston recently advanced in their preparation for Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate.

On Dec. 15 a new class of men was installed into the Ministry of Acolyte. The installation was celebrated at Bethany Chapel in a liturgical service led by Bishop John Dooher.

The acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest. It is his duty therefore to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of Mass.

He is also to distribute communion as a special minister when the number of communicants is so great that the celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. In the same extraordinary circumstances, an acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the Blessed Sacrament for adoration by the faithful and afterward replacing it, but not with blessing the people.

He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who on a temporary basis are appointed to assist the priest or deacon in liturgical celebrations by carrying the missal, cross, candles, etc., or by performing other such duties.

As one set aside in a special way for the service of the altar, the acolyte should learn all matters concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning: in that way he will be able each day to offer himself entirely to God, be an example to all by his gravity and reverence in church, and have a sincere love for the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, especially for the weak and the sick.

The 11 men who became acolytes are:

John D. Barry; John H. Beagan, Jr.; John J. Burkly; Paul G. Coletti; Richard J. Cussen; Timothy F. Donohue; Joseph R. Flocco; Joseph P. Harrington; William M. Jackson; Kevin P. Martin, Jr.; and William R. Proulx.

Also on Nov. 3, ten lay men from the South Shore of Boston, publicly expressed their intention to prepare for the Sacrament of Holy Orders as permanent deacons with the Admission to Candidacy. The Admission to Candidacy is a formal rite, and one of the early steps, in the formation of men for the Permanent Diaconate.

The rite of Admission to Candidacy is celebrated after a year of academic study, spiritual formation, discernment and external evaluation. It signifies formal acceptance into the formation process, and requires each candidate to respond positively to the invitation "...to prepare themselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord, and his body, the Church."

The liturgical celebration, held in Bethany Chapel, was presided over by Cardinal Seán O'Malley, assisted by Deacon Daniel Burns, the director of Diaconate Formation. The entrance hymn, appropriate for the occasion, was "Here I am Lord."

The formation journey for these ten men began at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese in Braintree Massachusetts. The continued formation of these men will be conducted at St. Gabriels, the Brighton academic campus adjacent to St. John's Seminary.

The 10 men entering formation, and their home parishes are:

Timothy Booker, St. Bridget Parish (Abington); Paul Carroll, St. Theresa of Lisiuex Parish (Sherborn); Joseph Dorlus, St. Angela Parish (Mattapan); James Kearney, St. Mary Parish (Wrentham); Kelley McCormick, St. Mary of the Assumption Parish (Dedham); Jonathan Mosely, St. Bernadette Parish (Randolph); Charles Rossignol, Immaculate Conception Parish (Marlborough); Jose Torres, St. Benedict Parish (Somerville); Roger Vierra, St. Helen Parish (Norwell); and Thomas Walsh, St. William Parish (Tewksbury).

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