Dave Borowski | Catholic Herald
Deacon candidates (from left) Alfred Caporaletti, Dennis A. Holley, Christopher Ryan, Patrick M. Strain, Dave Maurer, Jim Hepler and James J. Benisek stand at the altar before their ordination to the permanent diaconate Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.
Seven men answered the call to the permanent diaconate and were ordained last Saturday by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. Family, friends and clergy of the diocese joined in welcoming the men to service.
The bishop reinstituted the diaconate formation program in 2005. Last January he ordained 16 men after a hiatus of 20 years. The seven men will join more than 60 deacons serving in the diocese, with another 20 men in the diaconate formation program.
Permanent deacons are ministers of the word and assist the bishop and the priests. At ordination they become part of the Church’s clergy. They assist and preach at Mass, baptize, and preside at weddings and funerals.
“(This is) another page to what began last year,” the bishop said.
The men — James J. Benisek, Alfred Caporaletti, James C. Hepler, Dennis A. Holley, David M. Maurer, Christopher E. Ryan and Patrick M. Strain — sat with the congregation until they were called by name to the altar by Deacon Sam Taub, deacon of the call, and presented to the bishop by Father Thomas Ferguson, director of diaconate formation.
The bishop asked Father Ferguson if the men were worthy of ordination, and Father Ferguson said they were.
“Relying on the help of the Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose these men, our brothers, for the order of the diaconate,” said the bishop.
The candidates declared their intention to voluntarily undertake the responsibilities of the diaconate. Each candidate knelt before Bishop Loverde, placed his hands between the bishop’s and promised his obedience.
Bishop Loverde then laid his hands on each candidate’s head and said the prayer of consecration. Following this prayer, the newly ordained deacons received their stole and dalmatic, or tunic, symbols of the diaconate.
After being vested, the deacons knelt before the bishop and were presented the Book of the Gospels.
"Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach," said the bishop.
The bishop then gave each man the kiss of peace. The new deacons were then greeted by their fellow deacons.
At the conclusion of the ordination Mass, Bishop Loverde thanked all who helped the men in their vocation — especially the wives of the men.
The bishop also thanked Deacon Taub, who was ordained in 1973 and retired from active service in 2005.
Bishop Loverde then said the men would receive “support, prayer and encouragement (from the diocese.)”
To see where these new deacons are assigned go here