It happened last month, and is featured in this week’s Florida Catholic:
Between them, they have 14 children and represent parishes from around the diocese. Their backgrounds and careers are all different: among them a doctor, dental professional, several businessmen and a computer engineer.
Their paths crossed for more than five years here in the diocese. They became good friends, and immediately each man’s life changed. The seven began journeying on a path that led them to the same altar Sept. 17.
The men were ordained permanent deacons at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola during traditional ceremonies and before family, friends, priests, seminarians, fellow parishioners and others. Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito was main celebrant.
“I am very excited,” said new Deacon Jose Mares shortly before ceremonies began. “My loved ones are here. It is a big thing.”
The new clergy include Deacon Mares of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Delray Beach; Deacon Wayne Creelman of Holy Cross in Vero Beach; Deacon Lester Loh of St. Jude in Tequesta; Deacon Gerald Palermo of St. Thomas More in Boynton Beach; Deacon William Charles Weir of St. Helen in Vero Beach; Deacon James Parrilli of St. Christopher in Hobe Sound; and Deacon Keith Skinner of St. Vincent Ferrer in Delray Beach.
“It is the biggest day of the year for the permanent deacon program,” said Deacon Dennis Demes, director of the program, which is celebrating 10 years. “We are very happy and very proud of the group. We eagerly anticipate their contributions to ministry in the diocese.”
Ad multos annos! Congratulations!