Eight permanent deacons to serve in parishes
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.
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 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 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 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”.
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The following assignments for newly ordained deacons are effective Aug. 20 for a period of five years:
Deacon Lawrence Brecht is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Hockessin.
Deacon David Feaster is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Joseph Parish, Middletown.
Deacon Darrell LaShomb is appointed to diaconal ministry at Holy Family Parish, Newark.
Deacon John Molitor is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. John the Apostle Parish, Milford/St. Bernadette Mission, Harrington.
Deacon Christopher Moran is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Peter the Apostle Parish/Holy Spirit Parish, New Castle.
Deacon Joseph Roach is appointed to diaconal ministry at Holy Family Parish, Newark, DE,
Deacon Jose Sanchez is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Bear, DE.
Deacon Sean Sudler is appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Matthew Parish/Corpus Christi Parish, Wilmington.
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington