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New Deacons: gifted family men in service to the Church

By Deacon Daniel Burns
Posted: 10/7/2011

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On the beautiful, sunny Saturday morning of Sept. 17th, 13 men were ordained as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Boston. With the laying on of hands and prayer of ordination by Cardinal O'Malley, in the cathedral filled with family, friends, and well wishers, the men received the sacrament of Holy Orders. They follow in the line of the great deacon saints of our Church, St. Stephen, St. Lawrence, and St. Francis, and they join the 240 current deacons in the Archdiocese of Boston. As they processed out of the sanctuary and down the center aisle at the end of the Mass, they were greeted by the cheers and applause of a grateful church. All of these men are married and so, unlike a vocation to the priesthood, their wives and children are an integral part of their call to serve Christ and His Church. The cardinal in his homily voiced the gratitude of the Church for the generosity and sacrifice of the wives and children for their love and support of the ministry of these new deacons.

In a new development this year, each deacon received two assignments from the cardinal. The primary assignment is to a parish community and the second is to support one of the central ministries of the archdiocese. Deacons are always called to serve the needs of the diocesan bishop, and in this time in the life of the archdiocese, the cardinal has asked these new deacons to both serve the people of the local parishes and to help him with some of the critical issues of the day -- strengthening the sacrament of marriage, upholding the sacredness of life, reaching out to the sick and imprisoned, embracing the richness of our diverse local Church, providing spiritual and pastoral support to our suffering brothers and sisters, handing on the faith to our children, and helping with the formation and support of deacons.

These men come from all walks of life yet share in the holy call to be an ordained minister of service, emulating Christ as he reached out to the forgotten and marginalized.

Deacon David Brooks, 55, is a software support representative from Dracut where he lives with his wife Mary and two daughters.

Deacon Chris Connelly, 39, is a religion teacher and campus minister at Sacred Heart High School in Kingston. He lives with his wife Jen and three children in East Bridgewater.

Deacon Paul Coughlin, 62 and father of four, is a retired Verizon worker who lives with his wife Karen in Plymouth.

Deacon Joseph Breyere Guerrier, 55, who works in a local grocery store and as a health care interpreter for the Haitian community, lives in Malden with his wife Maude. They have five grown children.

Deacon Geoff Higgins, 59, is a software consultant and high school baseball coach, and lives in Wayland with his wife Peg and their son.

Deacon Joe Hopgood, 57, is a procurement specialist and lives with his wife Lorraine in East Bridgewater.

Deacon Cheonil Kim, 64 and father of three, is an anesthesiologist at Children's Hospital and lives in Dover with his wife Haegun.

Deacon Paul Kline, 57 and father of three daughters, is a Professor of Sociology at Boston College and lives in Norton with his wife Rosemary.

Deacon Howard League, 61 and father of two, is the Director of Religious Education at St. Thecla Parish in Pembroke where he lives with his wife Ann Marie.

Deacon Vincent J. Leo, 61, is a retired engineer for the City of Boston and he lives with his wife Vivian in Winthrop.

Deacon Tim Maher, 58 and father of four, is a professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and he lives with his wife Barbara in Milton.

Deacon Thomas (Tim) O'Donnell, 57 and father of three, is a mortgage banker and lives in Cambridge with his wife Elke.

Deacon Kevin Winn, 52 and father of two daughters, is an air traffic controller at Logan Airport and lives in Kingston with his wife Hedi.

The archdiocese is blessed to have these energetic and gifted men serving in our parishes and central ministries.