Ordination update: 4 new deacons in Rochester

They were ordained Saturday.

Details, from the Catholic Courier:

As four new permanent deacons in the diocese of Rochester sat down before a round of applause for them had ended, Bishop Matthew H. Clark joked that they lived out Jesus’ words a little too well.

“You really should never sit down before the applause is complete,” Bishop Clark said. “You are taking this Gospel too seriously.”

Humility is one of the qualities evident in Deacons Eric Bessette, Donald Eggleston, John Hoffman and Robert Lyons, who were ordained during a June 4 Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Mass opened with the chime of handbells from the Diocesan Festival Choir and included the participation of the wives and children of the permanent deacons.

The readings for the Mass focused on being called by the Lord and the response of those who are called. Bishop Clark urged all at the assembly to determine what gifts they can use in service to their brothers and sisters, especially those who might otherwise be forgotten. He said Paul, in writing to the Ephesians (4:1-7, 11-13), tells us to live out our call with patience, gentleness and humility.

“I hope by hearing God’s word and praying at this assembly, we will be made aware of what God asks of us,” Bishop Clark said.

Later, he presented each of the deacons with the Book of Gospels.

“Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become,” Bishop Clark said. “Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”

The men are now the newest members of the 114 active permanent deacons in the Diocese of Rochester charged with serving others through their various backgrounds.

During one of the last conversations he had with his son, James, who was serving in Iraq, Deacon Lyons told his son he was thinking of becoming a permanent deacon.

His son told him, “If that’s where you are called, that’s what you should do,” the deacon recalled.

Soon after, U.S. Army 1st Lt. James Lyons was killed in action in 2006. During his ordination, Deacon Lyons carried his son’s New Testament in his pocket.

“I was thinking of my son,” he said. “I wish he could be here.”

Read more. Congratulations, brothers.  Ad multos annos!

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3 responses to “Ordination update: 4 new deacons in Rochester”

  1. There is an abundance of deacon ordinations. But sincerely, where are we going to put all of them to work? What is going to happen to the state of the Church if we end up with lots of deacons and very, very few priests? Is that going to change Catholicism? Is this a vast experiment to make the American Church fundamentally led by married deacons instead of celibate priests? Just honest questions, not pretending to know the answer and not trying at all to be clever or sarcastic.

  2. ‘WE’ are not going to put them to work, God will. God calls them to their diaconate, who are we to question why? Would it be good, bad, or immaterial if “end up with lots of deacons and very, very few priests”? The harvest is plenty but laborers are few – it still is a reality and will be for a long time. The condition of our world tells us that. Abundance of deacon ordinations is a blessing! Let’s have more.

  3. Dear Rudy,

    First of all, it is OK to be concerned about the priest shortage, but not too concerned. Jesus will take care of all things. He promised to take care of his Church. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 18)

    As far as diaconal ministry, there is plenty of work to be done.
    Loving Jesus in the “poorest of the poor.” Physically and spiritually. Look all around you – the work is overwhelming, but with God’s help, all is possible.

    God bless!

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