Bishop Paul Etienne had this to say about the men who were ordained on 15 May:
This class of men for some time now have developed quite a reputation for their great quality. The many professors and others who have worked with them in their years of formation always have great and positive things to say on their behalf. I must say, I am in complete agreement. The Church of the Diocese of Cheyenne was truly blessed today in calling these men to the ‘ministry of charity.’
Equally impressive are the wives of these new deacons. They have been supportively with them and for them. It was with no small amount of emotion as these women carried the new deacon vestments down the center aisle of church for the vesting rite in the ordination. We are truly grateful to these wives and their families for sharing the husbands and fathers with the Church.
And from the ordination homily, I couldn’t help but notice who got the first mention:
We wish in a very special way to welcome the wives and family members of our deacon class. The wives of permanent deacons play significant roles in both the discernment of this call as well as in the formation process. It is one more beautiful manifestation of how in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the two truly do become one flesh. To you, especially, ladies, I wish to express our profound gratitude as the diocese of Cheyenne for sharing your husbands with this local church for the life of service they freely embrace today. I also wish to thank you and your children in advance for your continued support of these men in their generous service of the Church.
The readings chosen for today’s celebration give clear indications of the life and ministry of permanent deacons. First, my sons, as with all Christians, your lives are to be built upon the very life of Christ. This is what Jesus intends when he invites us to ‘Remain in his love.’ For your lives to be fruitful, you must first be open to receive the precious gift of Christ’s redeeming love, and just as open and generous in sharing that love in the midst of your ministry as deacons. The ministry of the deacon is primarily the ministry of ‘charity’, which has its origins in the very love shared between the Father and the Son and poured out upon the Church in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In the celebration of every Eucharist, which is the heart and soul of the Church, the deacon has distinct roles to play, and these liturgical duties define the life he is to live outside of the Mass. Here I wish to make a very clear point. The life that the Eucharist nourishes in each of us is to be coherently lived in every and all aspects of our daily life. The life that the Eucharist nourishes in each of us is nothing less than divine life, the life of faith, the life shared between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
There is no ‘compartmentalizing’ this life of faith. It is either alive and flourishing, or is diminishing and dying.
So, my brothers, you are to first live a coherent faith life, so as to be able to effectively enflame the faith in the lives of others. This is a great challenge for the Church today. This is a great challenge which you as deacons are to embrace, and that is to help the People of God not only know the basic tenants of the faith, but to live it fully and freely in their daily lives.
This is a great gift that you as deacons bring to the Church. Many of you continue to work and live in the midst of the world. It is precisely in the midst of your daily life, as husbands and fathers, as co-workers and volunteers that you are to lead others to the Truth of the Gospel. This Truth has a name, and he is Jesus Christ.
Welcome, brothers, and congratulations! Ad multos annos!