Bishop to six new deacons: ‘Become a Living Homily to Our World’

TRUMBULL—The diocese welcomed six men to the permanent diaconate on a beautiful Saturday morning ordination at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano ordained Joseph Cann, Stephen Hodson, Eric Keener, Joseph Klimaszewski, Richard Lawlor and Michael Ronan as deacons for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

“For these men have come here to the house of our Heavenly Father to ask him to pour out His Holy Spirit upon them to allow them to answer the call they have sensed in their hearts for a very long time,” said the bishop in his homily. “To become one with Christ the high priest and servant, the one who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

“Only He can grant you this good grace to be wholly formed changed forever impressed with His power to be a living sacrament of service in the world,” the bishop said.

The bishop thanked the deacons’ wives for bearing this great sacrifice along with their husbands, acknowledging them as their husbands’ “rock and foundation.” “They are the companions God chose for you to walk with you on your journey to eternal life,” said the bishop.

“Thank you for saying yes,” he said.

“So what is the Lord asking of you?” the bishop asked, referencing Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, the ultimate act of service. “The pin that depicts the diaconate is indeed a Cross,” the bishop explained.

“For many who do not believe, service is doing things for others,” said the bishop. “For you and I, who do believe in this great Savior who gave the greatest act of service in this moment of laying down His life, we understand service as the sharing and the emptying of our lives for others,” he said.

The bishop explained that the mystery of the diaconate rests with the mystery of the Eucharist. “You are being asked by the Lord to pour out your life,” the bishop said. “You will be the living bridge to this great mystery that is the hope of our salvation.”

The bishop addressed the newly ordained, “Feed on the word of God every day,” he said. “It will convict you and encourage you, teach you and empower you.”

“In a world of half-truths,” the bishop encouraged the six men, “preach the Gospel fearlessly, as the Lion of Judah asked us to preach it…become a living homily to our world.”

“Go where no one else wishes to go,” the bishop challenged the deacons, referencing the Cross once more. “The Lord, in this ultimate act of service, was embracing every man, woman and child of every race, tongue and nation, of every age, offering them life.”

“I ask you to go into the shadows,” the bishop said. “Go where no one else wants to go. Bring hope to those who have none and never forget that as a minister of the Gospel and as a deacon of Christ you will never go alone.”

“What a noble vocation, what a great gift,” he said.

The bishop encouraged the men, “Commit your life to Jesus and see the marvels of God’s love unfold before your very eyes.”

Photos by Amy Mortensen

The Ordination Mass was concelebrated by Father Shawn Cutler, pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield, Father Brian Gannon, pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Trumbull, Father Reggie Norman, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Wilton and Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown.

The Deacons of the Mass were Deacon Timothy Bolton, coordinator of diaconate vocations, Deacon John DiTaranto, coordinator of diaconate continuing formation and Deacon Gerry Lambert, coordinator of diaconate formation.

The servers of the Mass were the Seminarians of the Diocese of Bridgeport along with the servers of St. Theresa Parish. The Master of Ceremonies was Deacon Patrick Toole.

In a special moment, the gifts were brought up by the wives of the newly ordained: Frances Cann, Susan Hodson, Kathleen Keener, Laura Klimaszewski, Christine Lawlor and Kathy Ronan.

Music was provided by the St.Theresa Church music ministers.