From the Catholic Herald:
For the first time since Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde reinstated the permanent diaconate formation program in 2005, transitional and permanent deacons were ordained together in a June 1 ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.
Father Thomas P. Ferguson, diocesan director of diaconate formation, said that the combined ordination was a matter of timing.
“(There were) three men whose formation period was coming to an end the same time that five transitional (deacons) were being ordained,” said Father Ferguson.
Bishop Loverde decided to ordain them all together instead of waiting until next January, the usual time for permanent diaconate ordinations.
The men ordained as transitional deacons were Chris Christenson, Brian McAllister, Mauricio Pineda, Scott Sina and Steven Walker. The new permanent deacons are Paul D’Antonio, Don Libera and J.D. Williams.
Both permanent and transitional deacons are ministers of the word and assist the bishop and the priests. At ordination they become part of the church’s clergy. They assist and preach at Mass, baptize, and preside at weddings and funerals.
Transitional deacons are men in their last year of seminary study on the track to be ordained priests next June. They will serve in parishes throughout the diocese.
The bishop welcomed the men and their families and friends to the ceremony and thanked the congregation for supporting the men in their journey. He spoke of the important place of deacons in the church and that on the last day they will be “welcomed by the Lord as good and faithful servants.”
Congratulations, brothers, and welcome! Ad multos annos!