Today at St. Agnes Cathedral I had the privilege of ordaining six men to the diaconate. Unlike our May diaconate ordination when I ordain men, mostly married, who will serve as permanent deacons in our parishes and elsewhere, these men are preparing to be ordained as priests in the coming year. Four of them are preparing to become members of the presbyterate of our diocese and two of them are preparing to return to their home diocese of Konongo-Mampong in Ghana.

This week they resume their classes at St Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie under the capable leadership of Msgr. Peter Vaccari, their rector. Each of the six has been assigned by me to serve Sundays in a parish of our diocese where they will assist at the Sunday Masses and have the opportunity to exercise their diaconal ministry which may include baptisms, officiating at weddings and the many related parish activities that a deacon encounters in his ministry of the Word, the Altar and Charity.

If one of them is assigned to your parish, please make him feel welcome. Whether or not you encounter these good and generous men this coming year, I ask you to join me in prayer for them that this final year of their preparation for priesthood will deepen their lives of prayer, join them ever more surely to Christ and make them eager to serve the People of God as good and holy priests.