Sixteen men aspiring to become permanent deacons were admitted to candidacy at a Mass held on June 1, 2010 in St. Mary's Church, in New Bedford, MA.
Bishop George W. Coleman celebrated the Mass during which the admission ceremony took place.
Assisting Bishop Coleman was Msgr. John J. Oliveira, diocesan director of the Permanent Diaconate program.
Deacon Frank Fantasia, assistant director for candidate formation, and Deacon David Boucher, assistant director for continuing formation, served as deacons of the Mass.
The candidates are the eighth class for the permanent diaconate in the diocese and have been in the formation program for two years.
Admission to candidacy occurs when the prospective candidate have reached maturity of purpose and have demonstrated the necessary qualifications along with their completion of the required preparatory steps.
During the ceremony, candidates publicly expressed their desire to be ordained as deacons and the Bishop accepted their declaration.
These men have completed three years of preparation. They continue with two more years of academic and pastoral formation before ordination as deacons.
Those admitted to Candidacy are Bruce John Baxter, Eduardo Moniz Borges, Brendan William Brides, Robert MacLeod Craig, Timothy Edward Flaherty, Ralph Joseph Guerra, Paul Joseph Harney, Dennis James Hickey, Gary Michael John, Paul Raymond Levesque, Frank Ralph Lucca, Thomas John McMahon, David Charles Murphy, Gary Alan Porter, Lawrence David St. Pierre, Wilfred Ricky Varieur.
Admission to Candidacy - June 1, 2010
The Significance of the Rite of Admission
2011 Retreat and Blessing of Albs
Ministry of Reader Installation - June 8, 2011
History of this Ministry:
Before Vatican II, there were FOUR MINOR ORDERS,.
lector, exorcist, acolyte and porter. There was also subdiaconate. These were required before one could receive the Sacrament of Orders as a deacon or priest. Vatican II called for the revision of sacraments and liturgy. The revisions came about because almost no one performed the ministries of porter, exorcist, and indeed, even lector. Pope Paul VI issued the defining document in 972, the Motu Proprio entitled Ministeria Quaedam. This eliminated minor orders completely, eliminated tonsure and subdiaconate. He established two “offices” of reader and acolyte, which will include the functions of the subdiaconate.
“It is especially fitting that the ministries of reader and acolyte should be entrusted to those who, as candidates for sacred orders, desire to devote themselves to God and to the Church in a special way. …Both by study and by gradual exercise of the ministry of the word and of the altar, candidates for sacred orders should through intimate contact understand and reflect upon the double aspect of the priestly office… In this way, candidates are to approach holy orders fully aware of their vocation, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, constant in prayer, and aware of the needs of the faithful.”
Ministry of Acolyte Installation - June 6, 2012
Fifteen candidates who are studying for the Fall River Permanent Diaconate have been installed as acolytes at a Mass celebrated by Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River, on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at St. Mary Church, in New Bedford.
Assisting Bishop Coleman, was Reverend Monsignor John J. Oliveira, Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program. Deacon Frank Fantasia, Assistant Director for Candidate Formation, and Deacon Arthur LaChance, Assistant Director for Continuing Formation served as Deacons.
The ministry of acolyte is the second of two ministries which candidates must receive and exercise as part of their preparation for ordination as a permanent deacon.
These candidates are the eighth class for the Permanent Diaconate of the Diocese and have been in the formation program for three years. They will continue in one more year of academic and pastoral formation before ordination as deacons:
Bruce J. Baxter, Corpus Christi, East Sandwich; Eduardo M. Borges, St. Anthony of Padua, New Bedford; Brendan W. Brides, Christ the King, Mashpee; Robert M. Craig, Holy Family, East Taunton; Timothy E. Flaherty, St. Stanislaus, Fall River; Ralph J. Guerra, St. Margaret, Buzzards Bay; Paul J. Harney, Christ the King, Mashpee; Gary M. John, Holy Trinity, Fall River; Paul R. Levesque, St. Bernard, Assonet; Frank R. Lucca, St. Dominic, Swansea; Thomas J. McMahon, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Seekonk; David C. Murphy, St. Patrick, Wareham; Gary A. Porter, St. John the Evangelist, Attleboro; Lawrence D. St. Pierre, St. Joseph, Attleboro; Wilfred R. Varieur, St. Theresa, South Attleboro
PERMANENT DEACON CANDIDATES ADVANCE TOWARD FALL ORDINATION
[Reprinted from The Anchor ]
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — On June 4, during evening prayer and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the candidates of the Fall River Diocese permanent diaconate program took one of the final steps before approaching Holy Orders this coming fall.
These men, preparing for ordination to the diaconate, made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity in preparation for ordination as deacons.
Msgr. John J. Oliveira, director of the Permanent Diaconate Program for the diocese, explained to the candidates the meaning and importance of the oaths. Each candidate was then asked to place his hand on the Bible while standing in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament to take the oaths.
Canonical law of the Church requires that all candidates take such oaths prior to reception of Holy Orders. The taking of these oaths is the most profound witness that one can make to one’s belief and dedication to the state of life to which the candidate is being called.
These candidates are the eighth class for the permanent diaconate of the diocese. The 15 candidates began formation for the permanent diaconate nearly five years ago. After a year of discernment and aspirancy, the admitted candidates began a four-year formal program of spiritual, theological and pastoral formation, which was completed in May.
Eighth Diaconate Class Ordained
The eighth Diaconate class for the Diocese of Fall River was ordained by Bishop George Coleman on October 12, 2013 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Fall River.
Ordinandi ~ Deacon Bruce Baxter, Deacon Eduardo Borges, Deacon Brendan Brides, Deacon Robert Craig, Deacon Timothy Flaherty, Deacon Ralph Guerra, Deacon Paul Harney, Deacon Gary Michael, Deacon Paul Levesque, Deacon Frank Lucca, Deacon Thomas McMahon, Deacon Davis Murphy,Deacon Gary Porter, Deacon Lawrence St. Pierre, Deacon Wilfred Varieur.
Video of the ordination ceremony may be found below:
Part I of 2 - Election of Candidates ~ Promise of the Elect ~ Litany of Supplication ~ Laying of Hands and Prayer of Ordination
Part 2 of 2 - Investiture with Stole & Dalmatic ~ Handing on the Book of the Gospels ~ Sign of Peace ~ Preparation of the Gifts ~ Prayer over the Gifts
Photo-gallery of the 8th Class Ordination