September 17, 2003
Present: Deacons Delaney, Donoghue, Hickey, Messina, Shanahan,
Whipple, and Wildes
Absent: Deacons Bulpett, Canova, Crimmins, Goldy, Guerrini,
Hanson, Hardcastle, Mandosa, Menz, Morel, Ryan, Santuosso
A quorum not being present, no formal votes were taken, except as necessary
to elect a Secretary.
1. The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Deacon Donoghue. He led
those present in a prayer service which included the song “From the Womb,”
composed by Deacon Dan Burns, an opening prayer, a reading of 1 Thessalonians
5: 12-18, a concluding prayer and blessing.
2. Before the meeting Deacon Donoghue had informed the members of Deacon
Mandosa’s serious illness, which makes it impossible for him to be in attendance
this evening or to continue in his duties as Secretary.
Voted: To elect Deacon Whipple Secretary. None opposed. Deacon
3. Deacon Donoghue reported that the Office moved into Peterson Hall two
weeks ahead of schedule. The Office has kept the same mailing address, e-mail
address, and telephone number and occupies five rooms. Deacon Donoghue hopes
to be able to have an Open House in the new office space on the evening of
the Mass for deceased members of the diaconate community (Wednesday, November
Building security at Peterson Hall is strict. During business hours there
is a receptionist at the door with the sculpted lions outside it. The receptionist
can admit visitors.
4. Deacon Donoghue reported that Sister Clare is volunteering to help with
evaluations of candidates in the Class of 2006.
The Class of 2004 are finishing their summer internships in hospitals or prisons
and will return to class on Tuesday, September 23.
In connection with the topic of summer internships Deacon Donoghue stated
that he is considering whether it would be desirable to redesign internship
around models in use elsewhere in the country. There could be a two-pronged
approach based on those models.
- At candidacy they could give a list of things that
deacons commonly do in parish ministry and require that each candidate participate
in or observe each being performed by a deacon prior to the candidate’s ordination.
- The entire class could be required to participate
in the Food for the Poor third world experience through a trip to Latin America
in the summer before ordination.
Deacon Donoghue emphasized that he also recognizes the value of our present
model of internships and that he has not made a decision to change it. The
above is open for discussion, reflection, and discernment.
- Deacon Wildes noted that there are inconsistencies
in deacons’ practices at Mass and that parishes have many different programs.
He felt that bringing some consistency to how deacons perform their duties
would be valuable and that proposal #1. could be useful in that respect.
- Deacon Delaney was concerned about the funding for
travel by candidates to Latin America. Deacon Donoghue noted that Food for
the Poor pays the basic travel costs in exchange for the participant’s promise
to speak about his experience at his parish.
- Deacon Hickey suggested that, ancillary to the internship
program, a mentoring program could be valuable in the first couple of years
after ordination. A nearby deacon could be assigned as the newly-ordained’s
mentor. Perhaps it could even begin prior to ordination. Deacon Donoghue
noted that there is expected to be something on mentoring newly ordained
deacons in the document (Norms for the Diaconate -- cf. #8. below) which
the bishops are preparing.
- Deacon Whipple expressed concern about whether all
candidates would be able to go to Latin America for the time required for
the Food for the Poor program. Deacon Donoghue stated that the program has
been shortened to a two to three day stay, which should make it feasible.
Deacon Whipple noted that the required retreats are nearly as long; and Deacon
Donoghue pointed out that there is now a five-day pre-ordination retreat.
- Deacon Delaney (?) noted that the candidates all come
with extensive experience in their parishes, and the internship program serves
as a supplement to that experience.
- Deacon Wildes stated that there have been genuine
conversions of aspirants during the hospital internships. Deacon Messina
added that, “humiliation makes you humble.” Deacon Wildes noted that what
is involved is the gaining of experiential knowledge rather than mere intellectual
- Deacon Shanahan wondered if there might be too little
insertion into each type of event in Deacon Donoghue’s first concept. He
suggested that the hospital visits could be one of the items on the list
of things to be done under that concept. The required list could be tailored
to each candidate; and it could involve more than one time at each experience,
so that the candidates would get more than a smattering of each.
- Deacon Wildes noted that there is a wealth of experience
in the field if it could be brought together. He noted that we can always
bring God into the situations we encounter.
- Deacon Wildes stated that deacons should be trained
to be pastoral in their handling of all situations.
- Deacon Donoghue noted that it is impossible to prepare
deacons for everything they will experience, but we hope to prepare them
to be free enough to respond appropriately in all circumstances.
5. There is no report from the Election Committee for this meeting. Deacon
Donoghue will be in contact with Deacon Ryan. Deacon Shanahan noted that he
has volunteered to handle candidate recruitment for the Merrimack Region.
6. The revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) will be promulgated
for the Archdiocese of Boston and go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent,
2003 (November 30). Between now and then, workshops will be held for priests
and deacons to prepare them for the changes that will be required.
7. The Archbishop wants to meet with the deacons of the archdiocese. At present
it seems likely that there will be two meetings. Deacon Leo strongly urges
every deacon to attend one of the meetings.
8. Deacon Messina noted that the proposal for a Deacon Fund is still in channels
Deacon Hickey reported that the bishops’ conference is still working on the
new Norms for the Diaconate.
A video on Deacons’ Wives is being revised. The principal concern regards
minority representation. This video is intended for training and is produced
by the Secretariat for the Diaconate in the USCCB.
NDICE has decided to meet next year at Xavier University in Cincinnati rather
than Notre Dame.
The theme of this year’s meeting was Social Justice. There were 280 to 300
deacons in attendance.
- In his address, Bishop Hubbard quoted the new Directory
as urging and encouraging deacons to take advantage of all programs available
for ongoing education.
- Deacon Bill Detwig gave a comparison between the diaconate
here and in Germany:
- here the average age of deacons is 62, there it
- in Germany young men -- of seminary age -- are encouraged
to apply for the diaconate;
- in Germany aspirants receive two years of theological
education -- the same as for candidates for the priesthood -- followed
by three years of formation during which they must identify a social-justice
need and start an ongoing program to take care of that need.
Deacon Hickey will go to Hawaii for the meeting of the National Association
for Asian and Pacific Deacons. While in Hawaii he and Mrs. Hickey will also
celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
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