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Braintree, MA (March 29, 2016) -- The Most Rev. Peter J. Uglietto, S.T.D., Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Boston, announced the appointment of Deacon Christopher Z. Connelly as Director of Permanent Diaconate Formation for the Archdiocese.

Currently the Academic Dean at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River, MA, he begins his new duties immediately and will be assisted by Rev. Msgr. William P. Fay, Director of Campus Ministry and Interim Director of the Permanent Diaconate, through the end of May.

“We are grateful for Deacon Connelly’s desire to join the Archdiocese in this important role,” said Bishop Uglietto. “His many talents, experiences and inspirational example of fidelity to Christ will serve him well as he prepares to undertake the work ahead. We are blessed that he has responded wholeheartedly to the invitation to guide future aspirants and candidates in their vocation discernment.”

In accepting the position, Deacon Connelly said, “I became a deacon to walk with others to Christ. My ministry has been focused on leading, joining, encouraging and serving others along the journey to Jesus Christ. I am privileged to continue this journey with the prayers and support of Cardinal Seán, Bishop Uglietto and my fellow deacons. I am grateful for the support and fellowship of Msgr. Fay and I welcome the opportunity to join the Archdiocese at this exciting time in the life of the Church.”

A resident of East Bridgewater, MA, Deacon Connelly was ordained to the Order of Deacon in September 2011. Since his ordination, he has been assigned to the Tri-Parish Collaborative in Brockton which includes the parishes of St. Edith Stein, Christ the King and Our Lady of Lourdes.

He re-joined Bishop Connolly High School in 2014, where he had been a teacher, religion department chair, campus minister and track and field coach from 1997-2003. From 2003-2014 he was a teacher and religion department chair as well as track and junior high golf coach at Sacred Heart School in Kingston, MA. He began his career as a teacher at The Prout School in Wakefield, RI in 1995.

Msgr. Fay said, “Deacon Connelly’s faith-filled devotion to Christ and the Church is a blessing for the Archdiocese. He brings extensive experience, commitment and joy to the diaconate. We pray that the Holy Spirit, through the work of Deacon Connelly, inspires others to follow the call to walk in the footsteps of Christ.”

In his new role, Deacon Connelly will supervise the recruitment, evaluation, selection, and first assignment of inquirers, aspirants, and candidates. He will be responsible for presenting to the Bishop the recommendation on suitability of aspirants and candidates to the permanent diaconate. He will also oversee and administrate the full program of formation to the permanent diaconate according to the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Among his other responsibilities will be the selection of faculty, as well as to develop and oversee the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral studies for the diaconate program, with attention to the needs of the Spanish-speaking candidates. Curriculum, faith formation and ensuring that all faculty, staff and candidates are properly oriented to and committed to the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese, Disciples in Mission will be an essential responsibility.
Deacon Dan Burns stepping down as Director of Formation

After almost seven years as Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate I will be leaving my position at the end of August  to dedicate more time to family needs and pastoral ministry.  It has been a privilege and joy to serve Cardinal Sean, the diaconate community, and the many holy and generous men and their wives and families who offer themselves to the ministry of Christ's service in the world.  It is a blessing to be in the company of such amazing people and to see the work of the Holy Spirit made manifest in their lives.  I am humbled to be in their company and serve them.  I also offer my deepest, heartfelt thanks to the entire diaconate community – it is through your prayers and support that the program bears fruit.  It is also through your compassionate ministry in the Archdiocese that vocations are stirred in the hearts of God’s people – vocations to the diaconate and vocations to lives of holy service within the laity.

Msgr. Bill Fay will be named the Interim Director of Formation until a new deacon director of formation is appointed by the Cardinal.  Thank you for your continued prayers for all those in formation, in particular for the 12 candidates to be ordained on October 17, 2015.

In peace and gratitude,


Five Deacons To Receive Chevrus Award

Cardinal Seán will present 116 Cheverus Award Medals to  lay persons, deacons and religious during a 3 pm Vespers Service this Sunday, November 23, at the Cathedral of The Holy Cross.    First presented in 2008 at the conclusion of the Archdiocese’s bicentennial, the annual award recognizes Catholics for their dedicated service to the Church.  The medal is named for the city’s first bishop, Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, who led the diocese from 1808 until his return to France in 1824. Bishop Cheverus died in 1836 as the archbishop of Bordeaux.  The oval-shaped medal is made of sterling silver and bears a likeness of Bishop Cheverus based on the Gilbert Stuart portrait. On the reverse side is Bishop Cheverus’ coat of arms.

The medal recipients are chosen for their service to the Church and God’s people.  Most recipients are nominated by their pastor, forwarded by their area vicar and approved by their regional bishop and Cardinal O’Malley.  Some recipients are personally selected by Cardinal O’Malley.   Each year, one third of the parishes of the archdiocese are asked to nominate a parishioner, therefore most parishes will have one honoree every three years.  The criteria given to pastors is that the nominee should be a lay person who has served the parish well over an extended period of time and has done so in a quiet, unassuming and, perhaps, unrecognized fashion.

The Regional Bishops each year are asked to nominate from their respective regions a religious and a deacon of similar qualifications to be honored with the Cheverus medal. The Central Ministries of the Archdiocese also make nominations from among religious, deacons and lay persons who serve on Archdiocesan committees or lead important ministries. 

There is no limit to the number of family members and friends who can join the honoree at the Cathedral. The presence of the pastor and a delegation of parishioners is warmly encouraged to help underline the appreciation and gratitude of the parish towards the honoree.

We congratulate the five deacons of the Archdiocese who will receive the award this Sunday:

Deacon Marcio O. Fonseca
Deacon James Greer
Deacon John W. Pepi
Deacon Luis Rivera
Deacon Kenneth N. Ryan

For more information on the Award and for a list of previous award recipients, please visit  Please also see the most recent edition of The Pilot regarding the awards

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