Home Our Diocese Bishop to new deacons: ‘I thank you for your ‘Yes’

Bishop to new deacons: ‘I thank you for your ‘Yes’

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The following is the text of Bishop Malooly’s homily at the Aug. 19 Ordination Mass of eight new permanent deacons for the Diocese of Wilmington.

 

Let me begin with a short homily on today’s readings and then rely on the church’s long and challenging exhortation for guidance prior to the ordination itself.

God has chosen you for this task and ministry of the diaconate. I am grateful for your “Yes.” I also wanted to commend your families. You would not be here without the example of faith that comes from one generation to another or also the shared faith of you who are married couples.

For all those who have sacrificed, including yourselves, that you may serve as a deacon in the church. I am very grateful. Thank you Larry and Lauren, David and Julie, Darrell and Beth, John and Kathleen, Chris, Joe and Barbara, Jose and Olga, and Sean and Amber.

The newest permanent deacons of the Diocese of Wilmington lined up for a “Class of 2017” photo with Bishop Malooly and Deacon Hal Jopp (in white alb), director of the diocesan Office for Deacons, after their Aug. 19 ordination Mass at Holy Child Church in Wilmington. From left are Deacons Joseph Roach, Darrell LaShomb, David Feaster and Chris Moran, and, to the right are Deacons Sean Sudler, Jose Sanchez, Lawrence Brecht and John Molitor. (www.DonBlakePhotography.com)

We have seen in the book of Numbers that Moses through the inspiration of the Lord summons the Tribe of Levi and presents them to Aaron the priest as his assistants in the service of the Dwelling. They would receive strength from their ministry in the Dwelling tent. You receive strength from the church, the altar, the Word and the Eucharist. This will allow you as deacons to move out to the periphery in service, as our

Bishop Malooly addresses the eight permanent deacon candidates at the beginning of their ordination rite. (www.DonBlakePhotography.com)

Holy Father would express, and to do so with joy.

In our second reading in the Acts of the Apostles, the sixth chapter, we see the need for assistance for the Apostles and early church leaders. We hear “Brothers select from among you seven reputable men filled with the spirit of wisdom whom we shall appoint to this task of service whereas we shall devote ourselves to pray and to the ministry of the Word. Today we do not cut that in half. To be good deacons you will need also to be devoted to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.

Finally, our gospel from Matthew — “you are the salt of the earth — you are the light the world.” Your light must

Deacons David Feaster, Jose Sanchez, Lawrence Brecht, and Sean Sudler embraceduring the Ordination of eight Deacons at The Church of the Holy Child, Saturday, August 19, 2017. wwwDonBlakePhotography.com

shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Your interaction and involvement with others is critical for your ministry as a deacon. You need to invite, enable, and work side by side with those you will serve. You need to witness, to be seen, to be known as a disciple of Jesus. You need to do all this with the joy of the gospel in order to advertise your good fortune and the blessings that those you serve might find and receive.

I thought Cardinal Tim Dolan at the recent Joy of the Gospel Convocation in Orlando said it well: “Discipleship united for mission will be characterized and effective

Father Joseph Di Mauro, OSFS, celebrating the 51st anniversary of his priestly ordination on Aug. 19, helps Deacon John Molitor vest for Mass following his diaconate ordination.wwwDonBlakePhotography.com

only with joy.” He added, “rare is the person who does not crave joy.”

The early church was successful because those early believers empowered by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost shared their joy and good fortune with others. Their witness was founded, not only on their faith and belief in Jesus, but also on the joy that so overtook their lives. It could not be contained. Thank goodness!

May God bless each of you, your families, those you will serve and through you our local church in the Diocese of Wilmington. This is a fortunate moment for us. Thank you again for your “Yes.”