June 6, 2011, WORCESTER, MA – On Saturday, June 11 at 10 am at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., will ordain eight men to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Worcester. All are welcome to the ordination Mass and the ceremony will be webcast LIVE at worcesterdiocese.org.
The eight men are Malcolm Stuart Colgate, Robert S. Connor, Jr., Paul Joseph Dacri, Kevin Joseph Deignan, George Estremera, Israel R. Fernandez, Franklin Lizardo, and William Henry White.
Ordination is also referred to as Holy Orders and has three grades. The first grade is deacon, or the diaconal order. Ordination to the diaconate confers the clerical state upon the ordinand, or one who is ordained. At that time he is also incardinated into (belonging to) the particular diocese or religious institute, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
Transitional deacons are those men preparing for the priesthood, (the presbyteral order). Men who are later ordained bishops (episcopal order), are ordained “in the fullness of orders” of the priesthood according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, and share in the apostolic mission going back to the first apostles.
Permanent deacons share the same diaconal functions as transitional deacons but may be married or not. They do not continue on to priesthood. 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.
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.
Malcolm Stuart Colgate resides in Fitchburg and is a member of St. Anna Parish along with his wife, Janice. He and his wife have five children and 6 grandchildren. He is an Information Systems Consultant at Nypro, Inc. in Clinton, MA. Mr. Colgate was a disaster Action Team Leader for the Red Cross, a Squadron Commander in Civil Air Patrol and was also a volunteer firefighter and EMT. A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Sunday June 12 at St. Anna Church, Leominster, with Fr. James Callahan as principal celebrant.
Robert S. Connor, Jr. is a resident of Lancaster where he and his wife, Irene and their 4 children are members of Immaculate Conception Parish. Mr. Connor is vice president of IS and Business Services at Airgas East. A Mass of Thanksgiving is planned for Sunday June 12 at immaculate Conception Church with Fr. Edward Lettic as principal celebrant.
Paul Joseph Dacri lives in Worcester and is a member of St. Stephen Parish, where he attended elementary and high school until it was closed. He is a widower with four adult children and 3 grandchildren. Mr. Dacri retired from the Worcester Regional Transit Authority and served in the Army National Guard. A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Sunday, June 12 at 9:45 am with Fr. Edward Chalmers as principal celebrant.
Kevin Joseph Deignan resides in Worcester and is a member of St. Joan of Arc Parish along with his wife Michelle. They have two daughters and two grandchildren. He is a Sales Representative for AMSAN, division of Interactive Brands. Mr. Deignan is a Fourth Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus and Co-Chair of the St. Joan of Arc Building Campaign. A Mass of Thanksgiving is planned for Sunday, June 12 at St. Joan of Arc with Fr. Jose A. Rodriguez as principal celebrant.
A native of Puerto Rico, George Estremera lives in Worcester and is a member of Our Lady of Providence Parish in Worcester along with his wife Maria. They have two adult children and five grandchildren. Mr. Estremera works for C&R Tire in Worcester. A Mass of Thanksgiving is scheduled on Sunday, June 12 at Our Lady of Providence Parish with Fr. William Reiser, SJ as principal celebrant.
A native of Dominican Republic, Israel Fernandez lives in Worcester with his wife Zina. They have four children and are members of the Cathedral of St. Paul Parish in Worcester. Mr. Fernandez studied law at the University of Santiago, Dominican Republic, and is self-employed.
Also a native of Dominican Republic and a member of the Cathedral Parish, Franklin Lizardo lives in Shrewsbury with his wife, Barbara and their two children. Mr. Lizardo is an application development team manager at EMC Corporation. He is also a Third Order member of the Salesians Cooperators and has been director of the Hispanic Choir at the Cathedral Parish for the last ten years. A Mass of Thanksgiving is planned on Sunday, June 12 at noon at the Cathedral with Fr. Angel Matos as principal celebrant with both Mr. Lizardo and Mr. Fernandez.
William Henry White, Ed. D., resides in Dudley and along with his wife Therese, are members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Dudley. They have two adult sons. Dr. White is Higher Education Administrator for Worcester State University and was a staff sergeant in the United State Air Force. He has been active with Boy Scouts of America in the Mohegan Council and Hawk Mountain Council, as well as the National BSA Jamboree Staff. A Mass of Thanksgiving is scheduled on Sunday, June 12 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Dudley, with Fr. Paul Campbell as principal celebrant.
Shared Ministry as Deacons
By virtue of their ordination, transitional deacons and permanent deacons assist the priests and bishops in the celebration of the Mass as ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, in proclaiming the Gospel, and by preaching. They also assist at and bless marriages, can preside over funerals and wake services, and are dedicated to various works of charity in living out their call to service.
Last year’s diocesan directory indicated that there are 81 permanent deacons actively serving in the Diocese of Worcester. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reports 17,436 permanent deacons in the U.S.
The Office for Vocations to the Priesthood and the Office of the Diaconate are both funded by the annual Partners in Charity appeal.
# # #