Diocese of Worcester Reinstates Diaconate

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Bishop McManus is reinstating the permanent diaconate formation program with a new class to start in 2014, according to Deacon Anthony R. Surozenski, director of the Office of the Diaconate.

Deacon Surozenski made this announcement this week, as three men prepare for ordination as permanent deacons.

Bishop McManus is to ordain them and a transitional deacon at 10 a.m. June 1 at St. Paul Cathedral.
To be ordained permanent deacons are William A. Bilow Jr., of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster; William Gerard Ferrarone, of St. Thomas-a-Becket Parish in Barre, and John F. LeDoux, of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester.

James M. Boland, of St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough, is to be ordained a transitional deacon, in preparation for priesthood.

Speaking of the permanent diaconate, Deacon Surozenski said, “The reason for reinstating the program is that we have needs throughout the diocese for deacons.”

He said nine different pastors have requested deacons. Father Peter R. Precourt, an Augustinian of the Assumption who is pastor of St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge, has three deacons and has requested a total of five, because his parish is growing  and there is a lot of work, Deacon Surozenski said.

Two years ago Deacon Surozenski announced that the Diocese had stopped accepting men into the program, at least temporarily, to assess whether more deacons would be needed and whether assignments and funding would be available for them.

“We did not have a place to put everybody,” he said this week.

The situation has changed because of retirements and transfers of deacons and priests, and the merging of parishes, he said.

“We would like to see deacons involved in more other types of ministry” besides liturgical ministry, such as at prisons and in outreach ministries, where some now serve, and truck stops, where none from the Diocese serve, Deacon Surozenski said.

He said he has had several telephone calls from people interested in becoming deacons, and that at least one informational night is to be held this fall.

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