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Act of Providence: diocese ordains 21 deacons, first class in a decade—UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/03/13

Details, from the diocesan website: 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence today announced that after years of intense preparation, the first Permanent Diaconate class since 2002 will be ordained Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will preside over the ordination of 21 men as Auxiliary Bishop, Robert C. Evans and the priests of the diocese concelebrate the Mass, with the College of Deacons in attendance. The 21 candidates began their formation program in January of 2009, attending classes in Theology, Scripture, Homiletics, Canon Law and Liturgy and participating in weekend retreats as well as practical training for their ministry. The classes were conducted by the Diocese under the guidance of Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Coordinator of Permanent Deacons and Deacon James T. Walsh, Assistant Director, with many of the priests and deacons of the diocese and in cooperation with the Theology Department at Providence College. Permanent Deacons are men, usually married, ordained to service in the Catholic Church. They serve in parishes, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons or other areas of ministry as needed. Additionally, they may facilitate Baptismal and Marriage preparation, as well as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults programs and officiate at Weddings and Baptisms. They may also preside at services for the deceased, such as wakes and burials. Permanent Deacons may also proclaim the Gospel at Mass and preach.  There are currently 90 deacons in the Diocese of Providence, 56 who are currently in active ministry.

Congratulations and welcome, brothers!  Ad multos annos!

UPDATE: A deacon in Providence writes:

The Cathedral was packed with the families and friends of the now newly ordained brothers. As we concluded the Rite of Ordination and greeted the new deacons it was highly emotional for all of us. Some were crying and some hugged me so hard that I feared for my ribs! It had been my privilege to give some of their classes. To see them at the end of their formation was a blessing I will remember for a long time.

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