A Solemn Mass of Ordination to the Order of Deacon will take place on Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Burlington.

The candidates are: Robert Begley, R.J. Dourney, Patrick Leduc, Thomas Lovett, John Magnier, Josh McDonald and Christopher Noble.

Deacons exercise service to the Church and to the People of God through a three-fold ministry: the ministry of the Word, the ministry of liturgy, and the ministry of charity. As ministers of the Word, deacons serve as evangelizers and teachers; they are heralds of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As ministers of the liturgy, deacons serve the liturgy by assisting not only the priest at the altar, but also the entire gathered assembly throughout the liturgy. Deacons may also preside at other liturgical functions such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, and bringing communion to the sick and homebound. Finally, as ministers of charity, the deacon is out in the world — bringing the ministry and presence of the Church to those who need it most.

This three-fold ministry are often expressed and experienced as separate ministries, but in the person of the deacon, the ministries of word, liturgy, and charity become one ministry. The unity of these ministries is best seen when the deacon is at Mass. At Mass, the deacon proclaims the Gospel and perhaps preaches (ministry of the Word), he assists the priest at the altar (perhaps receiving the gifts of bread and wine from the people and preparing them at the altar), leads the people in praising God for his mercy, invites them to offer each other a sign of peace (ministry of the Liturgy), brings the needs of the world to the mind of the Church when he offers the intentions during the Universal Prayer, and dismisses the assembly at the end of Mass to bring Jesus Christ into the world (ministry of charity). The deacon at liturgy, then, presents a model of ministry for all of us. Our work of evangelization consists in our proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and our worship of God and our prayers for the needs of others, and our work of charity and justice in the world. The Christian life isn’t simply one or two of these, but they are all of them.

— Josh Perry is director of worship for the Diocese of Burlington.

—Originally published in the Sept. 17-23, 2022, edition of The Inland See.