The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m., and the opening prayer was offered.
Present: Deacons Hardcastle, Donoghue, Messina, Ryan, Delaney, Guerrini, Whipple, and Shanahan
Discussion. After a reading from Ephesians, Deacon Donoghue asked where the deacons are in the current situation, and how they are feeling.
Hardcastle: Parish work goes on. In the religious education program, people are looking for changes and have a feeling that they are catching up for others’ mistakes.
Ryan: There is still an issue of the relation of deacons and priests. Humble deacons allow themselves to be sidelined.
Guerrini: Deacons’ formation does not encourage them to insist on their rightful role. The church ordains them to ministry.
Ryan: The charisms of deacons are proclaiming the word of God and service. All priests are also deacons.
Guerrini: Deacons need an opportunity to exercise their ministry. The people want to go back to being Church and need a sign of hope.
Delaney: Someone should educate pastors who are getting new deacons.
Messina Deacons in difficult situations often don’t realize that they don’t have to take it. Often they just stew. We need to make a major effort to weave the guys together -- we need a bondedness.
Budget Changes. A letter has been sent to all deacons. The major actions which will make it possible to keep within the new budget will be the charging of tuition and Sister Clare’s retirement.
Tuition. Deacon Donoghue noted that seminarians’ tuition is paid out of funds called burses, but the seminary also took large cuts in its budget. Deacon Delaney said that parishes will be helping with money contributed through the Promise for Tomorrow Campaign. Deacon Guerrini said that pastors of candidates should not be given a sense of entitlement by being the ones who fund their formation. Deacon Delaney asked about the likely effect of charging tuition on recruitment. Deacon Donoghue replied that we will not turn anyone away because they cannot afford the tuition, but it is still likely to have some adverse effect. We may be able to make an arrangement with the Master’s in Ministry program or B.C. for some academics. Deacon Ryan felt that it would be a mistake to send candidates off to other institutions.
Sister Clare’s Retirement. Deacon Donoghue stated that this will mean that we could use volunteers. We will try not to draw back in the areas which Sister Clare handled. Possibly we could have a Special Events Committee to plan and coordinate the upcoming events for the year. We want to have a program for the wives of candidates and deacons and keep the retreat for the wives. We will need to get help on admissions – the interview with the applicant’s wife is crucial. Sister Clare also functioned as the de facto coordinator of formation. Deacon Leo is still clarifying the requirements for a volunteer to serve in that capacity and would be happy to receive suggestions for people to serve in that role.
Office Move. The office will be moving to five rooms on the third floor of Peterson Hall. We will be across the corridor from the Office for Spiritual Development. We are considering having all events in Peterson. The move will probably take place in late August or early September.
Election Committee. The new Council needs to be elected. Deacon Ryan will head the Election Committee.
New Business. We now have a database containing data on every permanent deacon who has ever served in the archdiocese. The data includes that there are now 175 active and 21 senior deacons. 11 deacons are on special assignment; 8 have been laicized; 12 are single; and 9 are widowed. Further work on the database is in progress.
Deacon Hardcastle suggested mailing copies of the minutes.
The Deacon Fund documents have been submitted to the Chancellor for approval. Until approval is received action can only be done on an informal basis.
Deacon Leo hopes it will be possible to have Sister Clare come back to work as a consultant in the office.
Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m
John E. Whipple