Here’s the first snapshot of the new deacons of the Archdiocese of Washington, ordained just today.
The press release:
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, ordained twenty-five men as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington at a Mass of Ordination on Saturday, June 22 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The new deacons come from a variety of backgrounds, and include a statistician with the federal government, a current and a former professor, a retired army colonel, an attorney for the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a consumer loan manager at a financial institution, and a former pilot in the United States Air Force.
The men completed almost five years of theological study and prayer in preparation for ordination, while working in full-time jobs. Deacons are ordained for a ministry that reflects three aspects: the Word, the altar and charity. The new deacons will now assist pastors throughout the archdiocese in preaching the Gospel, distributing the Eucharist, blessing marriages, baptizing and presiding at funerals, and be engaged in ministries of charity and social justice, assisting those in need. An ancient role in the Catholic Church, the permanent diaconate fell out of use after the fifth century, but was restored in the late 1960’s after the Second Vatican Council.
During their ordination, the men made a promise of obedience to the archbishop and to his successors, and received a stole, worn over the left shoulder to symbolize that the right arm is always free to help others; a vestment called a dalmatic; and the book of the Gospels, a sign that they are to proclaim the word of God. Deacons may be married when ordained but those who are not married take a vow of celibacy.
Continue reading for biographies of the new deacons.
Meantime, congratulations and welcome, brothers! Ad multos annos!