In his ministry as a deacon, St. Francis of Assisi was beloved for his legendary humility and his unwavering commitment to the Catholic Church. On the Oct. 4 feast day of the popular saint, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien encouraged current and future deacons of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to look to St. Francis as a model of ministry as the archbishop formally accepted 30 candidates to the diaconate and re-commissioned approximately 60 deacons.
“May our candidates and deacons both pray for and pledge themselves to a humble asceticism of selfless availability – availability each day to the Lord in a life of prayer centered on the Eucharist and nourished in the Scriptures,” said Archbishop O’Brien.
He prayed that they would show a “selfless ascetical availability to neighbor, beginning with spouse and family and extending to the parish and the community you are sent to serve.”
The archbishop welcomed 13 deacon candidates from the Class of 2009 and 17 candidates from the Class of 2011. Current deacons also renewed their commitment to ministry during the celebration.
Father Patrick Carrion, director of the deacon formation team, said the rite of candidacy signifies the connection of candidates to a particular archdiocese.
“It means they are beginning a more formal relationship with the diocese in which they will be incardinated,” he said. “This is the diocese they will serve.”
John Martin, a parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle in Libertytown, called it “very humbling, exciting and a little bit scary” to take the formal step toward ordination as a deacon.
“I believe this is where God is calling me,” said Mr. Martin, a member of the Class of 2009.
Timothy Moore, a parishioner of St. Katharine Drexel in Frederick, said the ceremony reaffirmed that he is following God’s call to the diaconate.
“It’s an incredible journey and this is one of the steps,” said Mr. Moore, a member of the Class of 2011.
Deacon John Langmead, who serves at St. Rita in Dundalk, said the liturgy was a special moment for deacons and future deacons alike.
“It reminds me of what the diaconate is all about,” he said. “As we get more gray hairs, it’s good to see that there really is someone behind you that can not only help us now but carry on the ministry.”