Transitional Deacons and Permanent Deacons
being ordained for Worcester Diocese
Trend in diversity continues for future priests
June 2, 2010, WORCESTER, MA -- On
June 5 at
10 am at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, four men will be ordained by Most Rev. Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester, to the transitional diaconate, the final journey of preparation towards priesthood. Being ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese of Worcester are Juan Herrera, Guillermo José Ochoa-Vélez and Marcin Wodzimiez Nowicki along with Brother Dinh G. Vo Tran, an Augustinian of the Assumption. A public reception will follow in the Cenacle at the Cathedral.
June 12 at
10 am at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, three men will be ordained by Bishop Robert McManus to the permanent diaconate. They are Frederick Alan Coggins, Anthony Keith Gagliani, and Paul John Lesieur.
About the diaconate
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.
Until 1972, the Roman Catholic Church had four minor orders leading up to the major order of subdeacon, which were conferred on all seminarians before they became deacons. The minor orders and the subdiaconate were not considered sacraments and were suppressed under Pope Paul VI as part of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. Only the sacramental orders (deacon, priest, and bishop) were retained in the reformed Latin Rite, and Catholic seminarians are "instituted" in "ministries" called acolyte and reader or lector, which replace the former "minor orders."
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.
Transitional Deacons to be ordained
Juan Herrera was born in 1980 in Colombia. He was a policeman and seminarian before coming to Worcester in 2007. He has been studying at St. John Seminary in Brighton. Mr. Herrera served at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Boylston, and this summer will be assigned to St. Patrick Parish, Whitinsville. Relatives and priests from Colombia and various states are expected at his ordination.
Mr. Herrera will serve as Deacon at a Mass of Thanksgiving at 4:30 p.m. on June 5 at Our Lady of the Good Counsel. Celebrants will be Father Kenneth Cardinale and Father Edwin Gomez, coordinator for Latino seminarians. He will also serve as Deacon at a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 12 in Colombia.
Guillermo Ochoa was born in 1982 in Colombia, where he entered the local seminary. He came to the Worcester Diocese in 2007 and is at St. John Seminary, Brighton. He served at St. Mark Parish, Sutton; St. Anthony di Padua Parish, Fitchburg, and St. Mary Parish, Uxbridge. He is again being assigned to St. Mary, Uxbridge this summer.
St. Mary’s pastor, Father Steven M. LaBaire, will vest him. Mr. Ochoa’s spiritual director from Colombia, Father Fernando Bernal, of the Archdiocese of Medellín, is to attend.
Mr. Ochoa will preach and Father LaBaire preside at Mass at 11 a.m. June 6 at St. Mary, Uxbridge. The Mass and reception to follow in the new parish hall will celebrate both Mr. Ochoa’s ordination to the transitional diaconate and Father LaBaire’s 23rd anniversary of ordination.
Marcin Nowicki was born in 1976 in Poland, where he began seminary studies. He went to seminary in Michigan, then came to the Diocese of Worcester in 1999. He returned to Poland, studied and worked, and came back here to renew preparations for priesthood. He is a seminarian at Saint Mary Seminary & University, Baltimore.
Mr. Nowicki has served at St. Joseph Parish, Auburn; Our Lady Immaculate Parish, Athol, and Good Shepherd Parish, Linwood. This summer he is being assigned to St. Joseph Basilica, Webster and St. Paul Parish, Blackstone. He is expecting relatives from Chicago and Poland to attend the ordination.
Mr. Nowicki’s spiritual director, Sulpician Father Anthony Perez, vice rector of St. Mary’s Seminary, died Sept. 12. The seminary’s rector, Sulpician Father Thomas R. Hurst, is coming to the ordination in his place.Father Esposito will join Mr. Nowicki at a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. on June 6 at Good Shepherd Church, Linwood.
Brother Vo Tran, a campus minister at Assumption College in Worcester, was born in 1972 in Vietnam. He entered seminary and served in parishes there, then went to the Philippines, where he encountered the Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists). He came to Assumption College in 2002 to pursue a vocation as an Assumptionist and professed his final vows last October. He studied at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge. Father Dennis Gallagher, regional superior for the Assumptionists, will vest him. His mother and sister from Australia will attend. Brother Vo Tran will preach on June 6 at the 10 a.m. Mass at Assumption College.
Permanent Deacons to be ordained
Frederick Coggins of St. Patrick Parish, Whitinsville, is married to Zita Lupien Coggins. They have three children. Mr. Coggins, son of Helen Wagner Coggins and the late Roger P. Coggins, was born in 1960 in Hudson. He attended Mitchell School and Assabet Valley Regional Vocational High School, both in Marlboro, and Central New England College in Worcester. He is an information technology specialist for Merkle Inc. in Marlboro, and previously worked for Lewcott, Millbury; CSC/ General Dynamics, Taunton; The Mathworks, Natick; Allmerica Financial, Worcester, and Capital One Financial, Richmond, Va. He has been involved in music ministry at St. Patrick’s.
Mr. Coggins is homilist at his Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. on June 13 at St. Patrick Parish to be celebrated by Father Michael Broderick, pastor, assisted by Deacon Patrick Stewart. A public reception will follow in Turci Manor at St. Camillus Health Center in Whitinsville.
Anthony Gagliani of St. Theresa Parish, Blackstone, is married to Maryjo McCluskey Gagliani. He is the son of the late George Gagliani and Phyllis Keith Gagliani, and was born in 1963 in Boston. He attended Mercymount Country Day School in Cumberland, R.I., and Blessed Sacrament School in Walpole, Medfield Junior High School, Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, and Bridgewater State College. He earned his associate’s degree at Dean College in Franklin, bachelor’s degree at Framingham State College, and Master of divinity from St. John’s Seminary and School of Theology, Brighton. He holds advanced certification in religion from the Diocese of Providence. He is an instructional assistant at St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic Senior High School, Worcester, and an instructor at Keefe Technical School of Continuing Education, Framingham. He previously worked for Victory Productions, Worcester; Chrysalis Publishing, Natick; Houghton-Mifflin Publishing Company, Boston; Diebold Inc., Marlboro and Mercymount.
Mr. Gagliani has written features for the catechetical series “Blest Are We.” A historian and geneologist, he has contributed to published family histories and websites. He is preaching at a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. June 13 at St. Paul Church, Blackstone. Father Conrad S. Pecevich, pastor, is presiding. A public reception follows in the parish hall.
Paul Lesieur and his wife Marianne are members of St. Roch Parish, Oxford. They have eight children. Mr. Lesieur, son of Loraine Lesieur and the late Paul R. Lesieur, was born in 1961 and is a native of Marlboro. He attended St. Mary and Mitchell schools in Marlboro and Hudson Catholic High School. He received his bachelor degree in computer science from UMass Lowell and a Master in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is a software engineer for Crossbeam Systems, Boxboro. Previously he worked for Insyde Software, 3Com, Crosscom, Proteon, Atex and Data General. Two of his uncles, now deceased, were priests: Father Richard Lesieur, of the Archdiocese of Boston, and Father Maurice Laliberte, of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Mr. Lesieur is preaching at a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. June 13 at St. Roch Church, with Msgr. Louis R. Piermarini, pastor, as celebrant and Deacon Wesley S. Stevens assisting. A public reception follows in the church hall.
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.
In 2009, 132 priests were in active ministry in the Diocese of Worcester according to the Official Catholic Directory. In 2007, the USCCB reported nearly 28,000 priests were serving in the United States.
Last year’s report indicated that there are 84 permanent deacons active in the Diocese of Worcester. In 2005, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reported over 14,700 permanent deacons in the US
The Office for Vocations to the Priesthood and the Office of the Diaconate are both funded by the Annual Partners in Charity Appeal.