To Atlanta’s new deacons: “Care for the Church with the same intense love you provide to those you love at home”

The Georgia Bulletin has details behind the picture I posted yesterday:

Ten new permanent deacons were ordained for service to the Archdiocese of Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

Among family, friends, priests and brother deacons, the class of 2012 was all smiles as they reached the culmination of their formation during the Mass of Ordination, celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and concelebrated by Bishop Luis R. Zarama.

The diaconate class of 2012 includes: Thomas Badger, Michael Briggs, Dennis Carazza, Thomas McGivney, Mark Mitchell, José Adán Ortiz Velásquez, Barry Phillips, Edward Santa, Dominic Saulino Jr. and Tom Walter.

The men come from varied backgrounds, from retired military personnel and graphic artists to investment advisors and counselors. The men also come from various parts of the country and beyond, including Georgians, New Yorkers and a Colombian. But when accepting the vocation as a deacon, the responsibilities are all the same, as Archbishop Gregory explained when he addressed the class during his homily.

“My sons, the Office of Deacon is a ministry always intended to strengthen the bond of unity among all of God’s people—helping those who are fortunate to possess much to care for those who can claim very little. Deacons must constantly strive to draw the Church together in harmony and love just as you do within your own families,” said the archbishop.

The wives of the deacons hold a special place in the Mass of Ordination, from leading the procession to assisting with the investiture of the stole and dalmatic, garments the deacons receive upon their ordination.

As Archbishop Gregory noted, the family life of the deacon is reflected in his service to the Church. The Christian witness of the deacon to his family extends out to the larger family of the Church, aptly preparing him for diocesan ministry.

“You do … those things most effectively by the way that you live and witness your own love for Christ first within your own home and then within the household of the Church,” Archbishop Gregory said. “Always be attentive to the sacredness of the Church’s faith and her liturgy—care for the Church with the same intense love that you have already promised to provide for those you love at home.”

Read more and see more pictures here.

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