A peachy time in Atlanta

Sorry it’s been quiet around here.  I was out all day — and it was quite an adventure.

I was invited to give the keynote at the convocation of deacons in the Archdiocese of Atlanta — so I was up at 3:30 (yes, a.m.) to get to the airport before 5, and catch a 6 a.m. flight.  I arrived at Atlanta’s cathedral at exactly 9, just as the deacons began processing down the aisle, and I got a glimpse of Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s mitered head as he walked by.

The morning was wonderful, with a nice buffet breakfast, and it was great to meet the deacons (and their wives) from Hotlanta.  Archbishop Gregory was gracious and funny, (and he had kind things to say about a frequent visitor here, Deacon Bill Ditewig.) They wear the collar down there, which prompted me to crack, “It’s great to be here and experience two things we don’t have in Brooklyn: deacons with collars, and grits.”

The best lines, however, belonged to Auxiliary Bishop Luis Zarama, who closed the proceedings with a final blessing and told all the deacons: “Remember always to remain humble.  Because everything good will be because of  your pastor, and everything that goes wrong will always be your fault.”  That line should be part of the ordination ritual.

So, hats off to Deacon Dennis Dorner and Deacon Steve Swope, who made it all possible, and managed to get me back to the airport in time for my 2:40 flight home. Thank you for a wonderful trip.

Now, I crash.

Tomorrow: preaching at 11:30, and then 15 baptisms — yes, 15 — in the afternoon.

Is this a great ministry, or what?


  1. Moonshadow says:

    Baptisms during Lent? My parish doesn’t. I suppose it would become quite a backlog if yours didn’t.

  2. I’m not a Deacon, but I live that life! Thanks for your ministry and your commitment to the Roman Catholic church. My diocese doesn’t encourage infant Baptisms during Lent, either…I still don’t know why.

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    We’re actually not having baptisms in my parish in May — between Divine Mercy Sunday and Mother’s Day, it was going to be complicated, schedule-wise. So I think a lot of people want to get in under the wire before Easter.

  4. Sounds to me like Deacons hate Priests!

  5. I always joked that I had both of my kids during Lent in order to supply a baptism for the Easter Vigil. (Neither child was actually baptized at Easter, having to do with first a complicated c-section recovery, and with the second there was the terrible Triduum Of The Throw-Up Virus. Nothing like a houseful of company, everyone but the baby with the stomach flu!)

  6. ron chandonia says:

    I haven’t heard the reviews on your talk yet, but I would bet it was well received. Deacon Dennis and Deacon Steve have been doing a superb job with our formation program, and I know they want to provide better support for the men after ordination as well. Often it seems as if our deacons get so caught up in parish duties that they seldom interact with the larger corps of deacons in the archdiocese and thereby miss opportunities to learn from one another’s experiences in ministry. You didn’t share what you said in your keynote, Deacon Greg, but I suspect you addressed that issue.

  7. Richard Kuebbing says:

    Since it was Lent, for your penance you should have taken Marta. It’s a short hop from Lindberg to the cathedral. You could have compared it to the NY transit

    Of course not with a tight schedule. :-)

  8. Deacon Dennis Dorner says:


    It was great having you with us this Saturday. Thanks for making the trip and sharing your insights. As I said Saturday, if you ever decide to head South just let us know!

  9. Fr. Neil Buchlein says:

    Very interesting. . .Baptisms during Lent and must be done on an “assembly line” basis. Sorry. . .but sad, very sad in both instances.

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