Deacons – Heralds of the Gospel!

“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become”  – From the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon

This morning, 20 men were ordained as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington. Only two years removed from my own ordination to the diaconate, this was my first opportunity to witness a diaconal ordination that wasn’t my own. As these men were called from the congregation, prayed over, made a promise of obedience to the Archbishop and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, I was in a state of perpetual awe and joy.

Though we are clergy in every sense of the word, deacons are not “mini priests.” We have a vocation that is uniquely our own. We are ordained to the service of God’s people rather than to the service of the Sacraments. This is most visibly symbolized by the fact that we wear our stole in such a way to keep our right arm free to serve the people of God.

In most dioceses including Washington, those admitted to the Order of Deacon do so after at least five years of prayer and theological study. However, for these men, the hard work has only begun. Please join me in praying for my brother deacons as they begin their careers as “Heralds of the Gospel”

The Archdiocese of Washington Diaconate Class of 2010

Deacon Alfred Manuel Barros
Deacon Thomas Dwyer
Deacon Dan Finn
Deacon Barry Levy
Deacon Don Longana
Deacon Stephen Maselko
Deacon Albert L. Opdenaker III
Deacon Gerard (Stephane) Philogene
Deacon William (Bill) Stevens
Deacon Brandon Justice
Deacon Patrick Christopher (Chris) Schwartz
Deacon Desider Vikor
Deacon Francis Edward (Ed) Baker, Jr.
Deacon Joel Carpenter
Deacon David Divins
Deacon Richard Dubicki
Deacon Robert Leo Martin
Deacon Ammon Ripple
Deacon Kenneth Lee
Deacon Timothy E. Tilghman

5 Replies to “Deacons – Heralds of the Gospel!”

  1. I had wondered about the symbolism of wearing the stole in a different manner from that of a priest.

    1. I was going to refrain from asking whether the deacon’s stole was as prone to slippage as Brownie Girl Scout sashes, however at Mass yesterday I noted that the deacon had to hitch his up a couple of times.

  2. While we spend time talking about Deacons, it’s important to note that we too have a fundamental obligation towards the service of God’s people and may be the greater responsibility. Has anyone come to think about the fact that without our support, they can’t function as Popes, Bishops, Priests, or even Seminarians. That’s why we don’t wear a stole at all so that our entire body is completely free for the service of the people of God. Hurray for the laity! Hurray for the clergy! Without them we are lost and without us, they can’t work.We complement each other.

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