We had a superlative turnout for a convocation marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the United States—and the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first class of deacons for the diocese.
I’m told about 140 deacons and their wives attended the event, which featured a keynote by Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport—who led the Brooklyn diaconate program when I began formation—a panel discussion on the history of the diaconate in the diocese, Solemn Vespers led by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, and a dinner where we were all reminded, once again, of the bonds of fraternity, friendship and faith that have made the diaconate in Brooklyn so vital and vibrant.
Bishop Caggiano’s keynote—a stirring and profound reflection on the future of the diaconate, and how deacons are called to be “bridge builders”—received two standing ovations. (Yes, it was just that good!) I hope he publishes it somewhere. It deserves a much wider audience.
Below, a few snapshots of an inspiring and memorable afternoon. Kudos to Deacon Jorge Gonzalez, the director of our program, for pulling it together and continuing to lead us and serve the diaconal community with generosity, humility, and grace. I don’t know how he does it.
I was privileged to share a table with the great Ed Wilkinson—longtime editor of The Tablet, Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper.
More importantly, I shared the table—and so much more—with The Deacon’s Wife. God love her.
And, yes, there was food. Lots of it.
It was great to see some of my classmates. Fifty-three men were ordained in 2007. Most are still in active ministry. After 10 years, it seems like we were ordained yesterday. How did that happen?
What a journey. What a gift. Ad multos annos!