New deacons, that is. Ordination season is just beginning.
Details, from the Catholic Review:
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien will ordain 14 men to the permanent diaconate May 14 during a 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland.
Hailing from as far west as Oakland in Garrett County, the soon-to-be deacons represent a variety of professional and personal backgrounds. All married, they include the president-CEO of a hospital, a scientist, a social worker and a biomedical research manager.
“They bring a lot of different lenses and places where ministry can be realized and the Gospel can be proclaimed,” said Father Patrick Carrion, director of deacon formation and pastor of the Catholic Community of South Baltimore.
The deacon candidates completed a one-year aspirancy program, followed by three years of human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation. The academic theological program was taught primarily by the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park, with deacons taking courses in a wide range of subjects including Scripture, church history, Catholic social teaching, canon law, morality, Christian evangelization and homiletics.
As part of their formation, the candidates served one year at a parish and one year in an institutional setting such as a hospital or prison. They participated in a five-day-retreat in West Virginia prior to their ordination.
Father Carrion said the men discerned “long and hard” about the diaconate.
“They gave a lot of themselves to the formation piece – knowing that it’s just the beginning to prepare them for committed, intentional service to the church,” Father Carrion said. “When people see that, they know the church is thriving. It’s exciting.”
A deacon receives the sacrament of holy orders and becomes a member of the clergy. Among his regular duties, a deacon proclaims the Gospel at Mass and delivers homilies. He administers the sacrament of baptism and witnesses marriages. A deacon may also preside at rites of Christian burial, at eucharistic exposition and benediction, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical rites.
Deacons also are active in Christian outreach – ministering in a variety of roles within parishes, charitable agencies, hospitals, prisons and elsewhere.
Read more about the vocation — and meet the men about to be ordained — at this link.