June 4, 2012, WORCESTER, MA – Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, will ordain eight men to the permanent diaconate on June 9 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Chatham and High Streets, Worcester. They are Keith Caplette, Timothy Cross, Brian Gadbois, Michael Hafferty, William Hays, William Shea, Brian Stidsen, and Ky Tran. All are welcome to attend the ordination. Among those scheduled to attend are diocesan representatives and family and friends of the men being ordained.
The Ordination Mass will be delay broadcast on Sunday, June 10 at 1 pm and on Wednesday, June 13 at 10 am Charter TV3.
Keith Todd Caplette of St. Anne-St. Patrick Parish, Sturbridge, and his wife Michelle have a daughter. Son of Peter Caplette and Ann Marie Dorighi, Mr. Caplette was born in 1961 in Southbridge. He graduated from Southbridge High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Worcester State College in 1985. He is a self-employed convenience store owner and manager.
He will preach at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 10 at St. Anne-St. Patrick in Sturbridge. Fr. Peter Precourt, AA will preside.
Timothy G. Cross of Lancaster is from St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish, Clinton. He and his wife Pamela have three children. Mr. Cross, son of the late Gerald Cross and Carol (Brown) Cross, was born in 1967 in Lowell, Mass. He graduated from Billerica Memorial High School and received his bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Southern Maine in 1993 and J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1996. He also served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Mr. Cross is Vice President of Operations and an owner of Legacy Publishing Group, Inc.
Mr. Cross will preach the Mass of Thanksgiving at 5:00 p.m. on June 9 at Our Lady of the Lake, Leominster. Father Tim Brewer will be principal celebrant. Deacons William Griffin and Fred Coggins will assist.
Brian Robert Gadbois, of St. Joseph Parish, Charlton, and his wife Nissa live in Charlton and have eight children. Born in Worcester in 1969, he graduated from David Prouty Regional High School in Spencer and University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is Director of Operations for Partridge Hill Media. Mr. Gadbois served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at bases in Illinois, Massachusetts, and England.
Mr. Gadbois will preach at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 10 at Sacred Heart of Jesus, West Brookfield at which Fr. David Galonek will be principal celebrant.
Michael James Hafferty, of Dudley, is a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster along with his wife, Marsha. They have two children. Mr. Hafferty was born in 1964 in Charleston, SC to George Hafferty and Maureen Derouin. He graduated from Southbridge High School. Mr. Hafferty is an underwriter for Aetna Life Insurance Company.
Mr. Hafferty will preach at the Mass of Thanksgiving on June 10 at St. Roch Parish, Oxford. Fr. Michael Roy will be the celebrant and Deacon Wes Stevens will also assist.
William W. Hays is a member of St. Mary of the Hills in West Boylston and currently resides in Falmouth. He and his wife, Jeanne, have four adult children and two grandchildren. He was born in Waltham in 1945 to the late Robert and Anne Hays. After Boston College High School, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 1967 and his J. D. from American University in 1971. He is an attorney with Christopher, Hays, Wojcik and Mavricos.
Mr. Hays will preach at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 10 at St. Ann, North Oxford with Fr. Richard Reidy as celebrant.
William Scott Shea is a resident of Charlton. He and his wife Miriam are members of St. Joseph Parish in Charlton. They have two adult children. Born in Worcester in 1957, he is the son of Richard and Winifred Shea. He attended Auburn High School and received his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1979. He is currently the president of Diense Corporation of Spencer.
Mr. Shea will preach at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 10 at St. Joseph Church in Charlton. Principal celebrant will be Fr. Robert Grattaroti.
Brian Earl Stidsen of Rutland is a member of St. Patrick Parish. He and his wife, Paula, have four children and four grandchildren. Son of Kenneth and the late Shirley Stidsen, he was born in Worcester, attended North High School, and served in the US Navy. He is president of Sentry Oil of Rutland.
Mr. Stidsen will assist at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 16 at St. Patrick in Rutland with Fathers Michael Lavallee, presider and James Kerrigan concelebrating. He will also be assisted by Deacon Pierre Gemme.
Ky The Tran is a member of Our Lady of Vilna Parish in Worcester and lives in Rochdale with his wife Phuong Tam. They have two adult children. He was born in Ninh Binh, Vietnam in 1947 to Dao Thi Tran and the late Nhuan Tran. He received his bachelor’s degree from Saigon University. He is retired.
Mr. Tran will preach at Masses of Thanksgiving on June 10 at St. PiusX Parish, Leicester with Fr. Robert Loftus presiding and June 17 at Our Lady of Vilna with Fr. Tam Bui presiding.
In addition to the eight men being ordained on June 9, there are 86 active deacons serving in parishes and other ministries. Sixteen men are currently enrolled in the Diaconate program of study and formation. The Diocese of Worcester also has four deacons serving outside the diocese and nineteen deacons who have retired from active ministry.
According to the 2011 Kenedy directory, there are 17,436 deacons in the United States. Like their brother priests, each is incardinated or officially tied to a diocese.
The Diaconate, also called Permanent Diaconate, is an ordained ministry within the Catholic Church conferred by the Bishop through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It was restored in 1968 by the Bishops in the United States following a reestablishment of the Order by Vatican Council II the previous year. For centuries prior to that time, the Order of Deacon had been reserved to a temporary status on the road to priesthood, also known as the order of presbyter.
Diaconate comes from the Greek word diakonia or service. Since all Catholics are called by Baptism to be of service to their brothers and sisters, why have an ordained ministry of service? Though this is a very complex question, which has generated much discussion, two important points must be stressed. Service to the community is the primary role of the deacon and by bearing witness to the ministry of service in a parish, he assists the whole community in becoming more aware of that aspect of their faith. Secondly, the order of deacon sacramentalizes service. The deacon as an ordained servant of the community is more than a functionary but bears witness to that aspect of Jesus and his ministry in apostolic times.
Permanent deacons are clerics who can perform all of the functions associated with their order. These include proclaiming the Gospel, preaching the homily, assisting the priest at Mass, administering the sacrament of Baptism, distributing Communion, presiding over funeral and burial services, acting as the official witness at weddings and exercising certain ecclesiastical offices. As servants of the Church, they also take on charitable or administrative duties.
Liturgical functions represent only a part of how a deacon's ministry is carried out in a parish. In many parishes, the deacon is responsible for the baptismal preparation program for parents and administers the sacrament as part of that faith journey with the family and the child being baptized.
Single or married men can be ordained deacons. Deacons take a vow of celibacy if they are ordained while single or if their wife dies. They go through a training period of four and one-half years in theology, scripture, canon law, spirituality, and pastoral ministry. In preparation for their ordination, they are formally received into the ministries of lector and acolyte. Once ordained, he does not receive financial compensation for being a deacon, though the deacon may work in positions which receive compensation.