My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
As we approach the end of May, we are blessed with ordinations to both the Transitional Diaconate, as well as the Permanent Diaconate. We will ordain four Transitional Deacons now this spring and four on Nov. 7, for Ordination to the Priesthood in 2016. At the same time, I was privileged to ordain 19 permanent deacons on Saturday, May 23, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.
In the last several weeks, I had the opportunity to personally interview the candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and their wives. These individual meetings were both a heartwarming and engaging experience for me to ascertain the motivations of our candidates, as well as to witness their enthusiasm for service to our Church. The Permanent Deacons who are married form a team with their wives, not just in the sacrament of marriage, but also in the sacrament of Holy Orders in which they participate.
This year in a special way, we were blessed with highly educated and successful men who, supported and assisted by their equally successful wives, will make excellent candidates to further the mission of the Church in the Diocese here in Brooklyn and Queens.
During the interviews, I experienced an enthusiasm not easy to find in the men and their wives who truly want to give whatever they can give to enhance the mission of the Church and assist God’s people. They come with energy and new ideas of how they can help the priests and parish communities through their service to the Church.
The Permanent Diaconate was reinstated by the Second Vatican Council, not just as a recognition that there was a reduced number of priests, but also to emphasize that the Permanent Deacon living in the world and serving in the Church forms a permanent bridge between the lay vocation and the vocation of one who is blessed with Holy Orders. These virtual bridges make the mission of the Church in the world today more visible through their work lives and vocation, which is enhanced by their vocation to the Diaconate. I never cease to be amazed by the generosity and commitment by both deacons and their wives to the mission of the Church.
Join me as we pray these days for those Deacons who will eventually be ordained to the Priesthood, and those who will permanently live the diaconate ministry giving of their time and talent for service to the Church. Anyone who puts out into the deep waters of ministry deserves our support and prayers.