Bishop to deacons: “You are my right-hand men.”

Last month, I posted on the ordination of new deacons for Oakland. This week, the diocesan newspaper has more:

In his homily, Bishop [Michael] Barber told the deacons that they are ordained at the “bishop’s hands, but Christ’s touch.”

The roots of the diaconate are in the early church, he said. As the apostles were needed to carry the Word of God, they chose “some strong and reliable men to carry on the church’s charitable work.”

Bishop Barber recalled his recent visit to the Federal Correctional Facility for Women in Dublin, where he baptized and confirmed some of the residents.

“Who is there every Sunday?” he asked, who has been there for their faith formation, their preparation for the sacraments.

“Our deacons,” he said.

As bishop, he said, “You can’t do it all yourself. You are my right-hand men.”

He noted the deacons’ work in Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Worker and other ministries of service.

He recalled his own time as a deacon, at the inner-city cathedral parish in Toronto, when an usher came to him and said a young man in the back of the church appeared to need help.

The visitor held up two vials of pills he said he taken. “I came to your church to say goodbye to God,” the young man said.

After getting him medical help, the bishop noted that the young man had a place to stay with some nearby brothers as he recovered.

After the homily, each deacon promised loyalty and obedience to the bishop and his successors.

Read it all. 

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