Ordination update: 8 new deacons in Worcester

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!

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7 responses to “Ordination update: 8 new deacons in Worcester”

  1. Seeing all the diaconal ordinations in so many dioceses and archdioceses being reported on by Deacon Greg I wonder when the national media is going to connect the dots-so to speak.
    The media seems obsessed with Catholic “negatives”- like the drop in the number of priests and consecrated religious in the Church in America.
    How about some similar- but positive -coverage in the national media of the growth in the ordained order of deacons in the Catholic Church.
    You’d think the media would be all over the deacon story –especially since it is the introduction of a married clergy (something the media is always railing about) into the hierarchy (bishop, priest, deacon) of the Roman Catholic Church. Already deacons are being chosen as members of diocesan comittees, panels, etc. that only priests or consecrated religious used to be chosen for. Others are being hired full time to run diocesan agencies (like diocesan cemeteries in our archdiocese).
    Probably the media doesn’t recognize what is going on because in many non-Catholic churches deacons are not ordained and mostly are not involved in ministry or sacraments to the great extent Catholic deacons are.

  2. …as “one of the 8” – I thank you for your notice of the blessing we have received, Deacon Greg, and thank you for your heartfelt “welcome” to us.


  3. Would be far better news if they were all celebate priests giving their life to God. Some dioceses have pushed this far more than they have priest and religious vocations. It would be interesting to see a dioceses by dioceses comparison of the number of new priests versus the number of deacons. Some of the dioceses have few if any deacons and many of those I am more familiar with have much higher number of incoming priests. Deacons are not the answer for the Catholic Church nor is women priest or married priests. The answer is a return of the Catholic Church to the actual teaching before many took the spirit of vatican II to distort teaching. Bishops who fostered the lies are certainly doing the Church no favors.

  4. I don’t think anyone has done a survey that would answer Greta’s question nationwide.
    I do know that the late Cardinal Lustiger—who was strongly orthodox–was a big promoter of the permanent diaconate. As I recall he was of the opinion that without more men around the altar to set an example there would never be enough men attracted to the priesthood (France had a very serious vocation problem.)
    At about the time I read that article I had gone to Sunday Mass at a very large nearby parish. The lay people (all women) helping at the Mass were all in the sanctuary at one time with the priest. Someone muttered it looked like a Moslem sultan with his harem . Not exactly a good scene to attract serious young believing Catholic men to the priesthood.
    Also, I read a long article by Archbishop Chaput in Denver and one of the points of the article was that BOTH the diaconate and the priesthood in his diocese were growing by leaps and bounds.
    As for pushing diaconal vocations and not enough promoting priestly vocations—most dioceses put far more emphasis on vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life.
    Yet diaconal ordination is for life –as with priests– and if a deacon’s wife should die- he is vowed to celibacy.
    I am a member of Serra. the organization that promotes Church vocations. And almost never do they do any promoting of the diaconate–most of the work is geared to encouraging vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life–because that is where the real need for vocations is the greatest right now.

  5. Wow – Greta – I am not sure how to interpret your comments.

    I am a father, and a husband, and I take both those vocations very seriously. I believe I was called to the voation of Diaconate – perhaps in the same way that priests are called to the priesthood (I guess I am not sure – but conversations I have had with some make me think, perhaps).

    Our DIocese is certainly not “pushing the Permanent Diaconate” instead of (or to the neglect of) pushing vocations to the Priesthood. I think there is a need for both. Just because one may not be answered, does not mean the other should be ignored. BTW – the week prior to the Ordination of we 8 Deacons, our Diocese ordained 5 Priests.

    I never thought of it as something to take the place of Priests, or as some sort of “answer” as you put it, for the Catholic Church. Being a Deacon is perhaps similar, but also very different. Deacons in the Catholic Church also go back to Apostolic times – so I am not sure why you also feel the need to say that Vatican II somehow has something implied with “distoredt” teaching (and the Diaconate, am I to assume, is part of the distortion in your eyes?).

    A very lovely document was created for my Ordination and Mass of Thanksgiving, and I will attach a link to it, here. Perhaps all you have, Greta, is a misunderstanding on what the Permanent Diaconate is – and that it is not trying to be anything other than what it is. I think the document does a fair job explaining what a Deacon is (and is not).

    I wish you Peace, Greta. I am really not sure if I have misinterpreted your comments or not, of if I took anything out of context. If I did – I apologize. I hope you find the link and explanation within it helpful.



  6. Bob C. Yes, the deacon position was indeed in place long ago, but from what I remember growing up Catholic, it was not part of the Church again until after Vatican II and it became an “answer” some saw for the lack of vocations for the priesthood. If I am wrong on that point, then I am certainly willing to stand corrected. I note one bishop recently put out a letter regarding the practice of some priests to have the deacon read the gospel and give the sermon and stated that this was not the intent. He saw the Deacon’s role in other non liturgical areas. I will look for the reference on this.

    I am amazed that each dioceses does not produce an annual report on the number of seminarians for priesthood, religious, and deacon. This could then be easily seen by all Catholics to see where the bishops were doing a great job at bringing in priests or disparities between the number of priests and or deacons. If in fact this showed that the most liberal spirit of Vatican II dioceses were having many more deacons and far less priest, someone might be able to look into what that is happening. The dioceses with the most priest per size could be reviewed for others to learn from and adopt some of their programs. I have seen some data and know that some bishops who are viewed as the most orthodox have very large number of incomign preists and some well known liberal bishops have many more deacons. The really good ones like Chaput probably do have both in great numbers.

  7. Greta…

    On Saturday, Denver ordained eight deacons. Last month, they ordained eight priests.

    I’m not sure there is such a thing anymore as a “liberal” bishop in the United States.

    Dcn. G.

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