Just another typical Catholic wedding—complete with gunshots

My traveling companion and blog neighbor Marge Fenelon captured on video a particularly lively part of the Greek Catholic Melkite wedding in Jordan I wrote about last week: the entrance of the bride and groom. You have to see this. And listen for the gunshots. That moment almost gave me a coronary. A Melkite deacon reader, after [Read More...]

Lay minister wearing a deacon stole?

A deacon reader passed this along. This question popped up at Zenit and is answered by Fr. Edward McNamara: Q: In Vietnam, the Eucharistic minister wears a deacon’s stole, as you can see in the attached picture. Is this right? — N.T., Vietnam A: Our reader accompanied the question with a photo of a gentleman [Read More...]

Boom: Allentown to ordain 47 deacons this weekend, believed to be 2015′s largest class

I received the email announcement about this wonderful news Monday afternoon:      47 men, called from each of the five counties of the Diocese of Allentown, will be ordained permanent deacons by Bishop John Barres at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown on Saturday, April 25 at 10:30 AM. According to the [Read More...]

“Banns for the diaconate”?

While reading the bulletin for Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor (see here for more on that story), I spotted this item: Peter James Lawrence from this parish is scheduled to be ordained as a transitional Deacon on May 16, 2015, for service to the Diocese of Lansing. Anyone knowing a serious reason [Read More...]

“Honey, I’d like to be a deacon…”

From CatholicPhilly.com comes this profile of one local couple—and a conversation that will be familiar to many deacons and their wives: I was stunned when my husband, Donald, mentioned he was considering becoming a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church. This really took me by surprise. Donald was raised in the South as a Baptist! [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: deacon at work!

Saturday, we spent a few hours at the Italian Hospital in Amman; I’ll post more on our extraordinary visit to this wonderful facility later. But at the end of our time there, I found myself unexpectedly—and happily—pressed into diaconal service. Several people on our tour were dismayed to learn that we would not be able [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: The most amazing Easter of my life

On a cold and drizzly Saturday night, I found myself standing in a small, crowded Catholic church 6,000 miles away from my home parish in Queens, and I couldn’t help but weep. Dozens of people were holding candles. Incense filled the air. And a deacon climbed into the pulpit and began the familiar chant that [Read More...]

Number of priests, permanent deacons worldwide continues to grow

From CNS: The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests and permanent deacons rose slightly in 2013, while the number of men and women in religious orders declined, according to Vatican statistics. For the second year in a row, the number of candidates for the priesthood also decreased. The numbers come [Read More...]

Diocese of Worcester mourns permanent deacon who became a priest

This piece of news caught my eye this morning, from The Catholic Free Press:  The funeral Mass for Father Paul W. Lemire was held Friday at St. Anne Church, 130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Burial is in St. John’s Cemetery in Worcester. Father Lemire, 79, senior priest in residence at St. Anne’s, died Saturday in UMass [Read More...]

From evangelical Protestant to Catholic deacon

From The Salem News in Massachusetts: If the deacon is a different sort of religious figure for the church, then Chuck Hall, 62, is a different sort of deacon. He came of age as an evangelical Protestant. Only slowly did he gravitate toward conversion, drawn by, of all things, the priest abuse scandals. As one [Read More...]