Present: Rev. Bill Kelly; Deacons, Crimmins, Shanahan, Boyle, Turner, Spiri, Whipple, Straub, Delaney, Guerini, and Hardcastle
Father Bill Remarks: Cardinal Sean was in New Mexico and could not be with us. Due to other commitments, Deacon Delio is stepping down as assistant to Fr. Bill in Office of Clergy Support. Sr. Clare O’Keefe’s position will be restored in order to coordinate the activities sand spirituality of wives whose husbands are in formation. A deacon will be chosen to work with Fr. Deehan for assignments and Fr Kelly for ongoing support to the diaconal community.
Fr. Bill noted that the Deacon Community needs to be made more visible; more interfacing with deacons and priests in the future and a gathering of deacons and pastors to come together regarding responsibilities of deacons once assigned to a parish.
More parish collaboration throughout the archdiocese is needed.
Fr. Bill passed on updates from Deacon Leo who was unable to join us:
Twenty-five men have been accepted to the Deacon class starting in September 2007. More requirements are being introduced beginning this fall to conform to the newly published “Directory for the Formation and Post ordination of Permanent Deacons”. The first year of formation will be two nights a week from September to May with retreats and other training to be determined.. Wives will be required to attend all these sessions for the first year. After this class begins, a new class will be admitted every year from now on. For the Spanish part of the reprogram, a new class will begin after the previous class is ordained.
February 23, 2008 will be the next Convocation for Deacons and their Archbishop, place to be determined.
Silver Anniversary: Class meeting with Cardinal Sean has been meeting with plans underway for this celebration.
Regional Reports: The Central Region is planning a social for deacons and wives with Bishop Hennessey. The South Region has met regularly with Bishop Dooher. The Merrimack Region had a night with deacons and wives and Bishop Allue. In the West Region, Bishop Edyvean has met with his deacons, while in the North Region the vicariate meetings are going well with deacons and priest together, although deacon presence needs to increase. Weekday meetings are difficult for deacons in the workplace.
These vary, but thanks to Father Bill Kelly, he noted that there are many opportunities for deacon involvement, including retreats, graduate studies, chancery assistance, etc.
Deacon Whipple spoke about the opportunity many of us had at the recent day on the “Theology of the Body” Conference, especially in regards to those called to Marriage. This great teaching by Pope John Paul II d could be areal aid to help couples contemplating marriage, to understand the beauty of God’s gift of Human Sexuality.
Elections are to be discussed at the next (Fall) meeting. No date has been set yet for the next board meeting as it is pending the Cardinal’s schedule, so he can be with us as often as possible when the Community Board meets.
Fr. Bill made a great closing statement: What we do, yes priests and deacons together, is for all eternity, for those we serve and our own salvation.
Deacon Phil Hardcastle