Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski reflected on the rich tradition of the diaconate in the Church in his homily to inspire the 11 newly-ordained deacons who will exercise their ministry at parishes in the diocese. At the Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate at Mass at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi June 9, Bishop Bootkoski noted the sacred ceremony was being held on the feast day of St. Ephrem of Syria, a deacon and doctor of the Church who lived in the fourth century. St. Ephrem was a defender of the faith who wrote extensively and also introduced music to liturgies by composing hymns to counter heretics who used similar means, the bishop said, adding St. Ephrem was a “fine example to the diaconate” because he helped get food to the needy during a famine in the area where he lived. “So you have a long and worthy tradition to follow, something that is beautiful and, down through the centuries, something we can all look up to,” Bishop Bootkoski said. The bishop also noted the important role deacons have played in the Church, such as the original seven deacons, including St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, as well as St. Francis of Assisi. Because of the present-day violence and turmoil in Syria, Bishop Bootkoski urged the deacons to pray to St. Ephrem for his intercession “to ease his people’s strife.”
Read more and see a gallery of pictures. Congratulations! Welcome, brothers! Ad multos altos!