Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Deacons in Erie

     Back on October 1 of the year 2012 I attended the ordination ceremony for Bishop Lawrence T. Persico at the beautiful Saint Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The joy and the hospitality of the Erie Diocese at the ordination of their new bishop was wonderful and deeply appreciated.

Bishop Persico's ordination in 2012.

     Last evening, on the 29th of May in the year 2015, I was once again in Saint Peter Cathedral in downtown Erie, sharing the joy and hospitality of the diocesan family at the ordination of fourteen men to the permanent Diaconate by the hands of the now seasoned bishop, Lawrence T. Persico. 

Tom is in the back row behind the right shoulder of the bishop.
     My reason for traveling to Erie was in order to fulfill a promise to one of those men, Tom McAraw, whose mother was a parishioner at our parish until last year when she went to stay with Tom and his wife, Pam in Erie.  Tom is also the cousin of my late seminary classmate, Father David Schorr, who had served as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh until his death late last year.  Last evening was a great celebration.

     We have four men who be ordained as permanent Deacons in two weeks in this Diocese, so to witness the ordination of fourteen men was wonderful, although a lengthy liturgy.  The Cathedral was packed with family and friends, parishioners of the newly ordained and priests and their fellow deacons and their wives.  Bishop Donald Trautman, the Bishop Emeritus of Erie, also concelebrated the ordination.  The music was outstanding and the festivities truly joyous.  I was glad that I made the trip up north.

     I was seated with two of the first year deacon candidates and their wives - Glenn and Diane Bailey and Randy and Anna Kondrlik - who served as gift bearers.  I enjoyed their enthusiasm for and anticipation of the diaconal journey, and their impressions at participating in such an ordination liturgy.  It was a delight to meet them and share their company, and I pray for them and wish them well.

     The Gathering Song was "Lord You Give the Great Commission" which very appropriately speaks of the call to service that the Lord gives to all of us through our Baptism, and which those called to ministerial ministry in diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy are entrusted with.  These men will serve God's people well.  I told Bishop Persico that he did a great job in sending these men forward on their great commission.

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