Ordination update: 27 new deacons in Brooklyn

Think I could overlook Brooklyn?  Fuggedaboutit.

From the In My Backyard Desk: the ordinations happened this morning, and will surely mark a Memorial Day weekend these men and their families will never forget.

The sacrament was celebrated at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn — one of the largest in the diocese, and a frequent site for episcopal ordinations. (A footnote: I received the Rite of Acolyte there back in 2006.)

The parish was also home to a number of firefighters and cops who lost their lives on 9/11.  A memorial outside pays tribute to those who died, with part of the wreckage from the World Trade Center.

But this morning, inside, what was remembered wasn’t what was lost, but what was gained: 27 new servants for the church.

Significantly, the longest, loudest and most sustained applause at the celebration took place when Deacon Jorge Gonzalez, Director of Formation, asked the wives of the newly ordained to stand. He thanked them — and all deacon wives — and asked them for their continued love and support.  The response from the hundreds in the packed church was thunderous.

One of the men ordained today is Ernie Hart — a classmate of mine from four years ago who left the program for a time, and rejoined to be ordained this year. Ernie was my roommate on several diocesan retreats. He’ll be a wonderful deacon. To him and to all those who received Holy Orders this beautiful day: ad multos annos! Congratulations! And welcome!

You can read more about the men ordained here.

  • Young Canadian RC Male

    Hello Deacon. You mention that at this church you received the rite of acolyte in 2006 at this parish.
    1) I thought the old minor orders were done away with after Vatican II?
    2) They still have rites? How come they don’t have something like this in Toronto, Ontario, Canada? These days you just sign up as a young one as an altar server and there you are, an “acolyte” no matter what sex. It’s totally not a ministry anymore, just another thing to do at a regular Catholic parish. It seems not special anymore.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    Young Canadian..

    Yes, the minor orders have been supressed. But a man preparing for ordination to the diaconate (and later, the priesthood) still goes through particular rituals, whereby he is formally instituted into the ministries.

    In this country (and, I presume, elsewhere) that includes, in order: the Rite of Candidacy, the Rite of Lector, and the Rite of Acolyte — usually spaced a year or so apart — and then culminating with the Rite of Ordination.

    Dcn. G.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Here’s something for deacons to think about.
    The Archdiocese of Boston just sent out a survey to all deacons in the archdiocese.
    Among the questions that were asked were:
    22. Would you have an interest in serving full time in diaconal ministry if the opportunity presented itself?
    23. If yes,what level of salary (per year) would you need to receive to make this a viable option for you?
    Less than $40,000 —and then choices in $10,000 increments to “More than $100,000.”
    24. One area of future employment may be as a full time deacon pastoral administrator of a worship site; would you be interested in such a position?
    25. What do you feel are your particular skills for such a position?
    26. What additional training do you believe you would need to work in full time ministry?
    27. How would you rate your qualifications to assume a position as a pastoral administrator at this time?
    Now, I don’t know if other dioceses have sent out such surveys. Maybe I’ve been too much in isolation and deacons all across the country have been asked such questions on deacon surveys. But it is new to me in my 30th year as a deacon.
    Also–The Homiletic & Pastoral Review (a very conservative publication) ran an article this month about the possibility of ordaining older men as simplex priests. The profile of the type man the writer had in mind for such ordination reads like he was describing older deacons.
    Interesting movements going on!


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