The Rev. Mr. Michael Preston was introduced for the first time Aug. 2 as Bishop Malooly celebrated the first transitional diaconate ordination in four years in the Diocese of Wilmington at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
The ordination was postponed from May to help limit the spread of coronavirus and event attendees were limited to invitation-only as part of the effort to curb the pandemic.
“This is a great day for the Diocese of Wilmington,” Bishop Malooly said. “This will be our first deacon ordination in four years. I’m glad that I’ve had a lot of practice in my 16 years as bishop, so I remember how to do this.”
Bishop Malooly thanked Rev. Mr. Preston for accepting the call to vocations and to his mother, Cathy Bradley, and his family for supporting him.
“Michael, you’ll be a great deacon and a wonderful priest,” the bishop said.
Father Norman Carroll, diocesan director of vocations, gave witness to the bishop that the new deacon was worthy. He was assisted in vesting by his parish pastor, Father Jay McKee. Joining the celebration were Msgrs. Steven Hurley, diocesan vicar general, David Kelley, vicar of clergy, and numerous other priests.
Bishop Malooly said his priesthood has included ordination to priesthood, as bishop and to diaconate. He said he remembers the date of the other two but always has trouble remembering the date he was made deacon. He said Preston will not have such a problem since Aug. 2 was his 28th birthday.
“God has chosen you,” Bishop Malooly said. “Thank you for your ‘Yes.’”
The bishop said the job of a deacon is to work with others and lead them to Jesus. Service and being Jesus for others are hallmarks for deacons, the bishop said, and “hospitality, welcoming, available are all part of the diaconate as you continue to grow.
“Exhort believers and non-believers alike. Perform works of charity in the name of the bishop or the pastor. With the help of God, he is to go about these duties in such a way that you will recognize him as a disciple of him who came not to be served, but to serve.
“Teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”
The bishop said Rev. Mr. Preston will serve his diaconate at St. Margaret of Scotland in Glasgow. His ordination to priesthood is scheduled for May 2021.