Great news from the great state of Massachusetts:
Three bishops welcomed the diocese’s eight new permanent deacons into the Order of Deacon Saturday at their ordination Mass at St. Paul Cathedral.
Bishop McManus was presider. Retired Bishop Reilly and Bishop Julio Cesar Corniel Amaro, of the Diocese of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, were among several concelebrating clergy.
The men ordained deacons were: Malcolm S. Colgate, 53; Robert S. Connor Jr., 49; Paul J. Dacri, 57; Kevin J. Deignan, 61; George Estremera, 58; Israel R. Fernandez, 42; Franklin Lizardo, 46, and William H. White, 64.
“It’s been a great trip with all these guys,” Deacon Estremera, of Our Lady of Providence Parish, said before Mass. “We started out as strangers and here we are being ordained together.”
“I really came to this country not planning to be a deacon,” said Deacon Fernandez, a St. Paul’s Cathedral parishioner originally from the Dominican Republic. “I couldn’t say no, once he (God) called me.”
Deacon Fernandez said that when Bishop Corniel was a seminarian he knew him, and his cousin married the bishop’s sister. A couple years ago he invited the bishop, who ended up vesting him, to attend his ordination. The busy bishop informed him at the last minute that he was coming, arrived Thursday in Boston, visited friends there, and went home Sunday, he said.
“It was an honor,” Deacon Fernandez said. “I really appreciate that he came.”
Deacon Lizardo, their fellow countryman also from St. Paul’s, said Deacon Fernandez had told him and the bishop about each other and now the bishop wants them to assist at a Mass in their home country.
He said Hindu co-workers attending the ordination said there was something special there, and he responded, “That’s what we call the Holy Spirit.”
“As human beings, probably we’re not worthy to be so close to the Lord,” he said. “That’s an honor to be a deacon.”
Read more. Congratulations and welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!