Prayers for Men in Diaconate Formation and a Message from the Director, Deacon Michael Russo


Candidates in Formation for the Permanent Diconate:

Name: Nelson Lowes
Parish: Our Mother of Sorrows, Johnstown
Ordination: June 3, 2023
Wife: Shelley

Name: Richard (Rick) Messina
Parish: Our Mother of Sorrows, Johnstown
Ordination: June 3, 2023
Wife: Michelle

Name: Charles (Chuck) Williams
Parish: Holy Spirit, Lock Haven
Wife: Belinda

“Beginning already in the early days of the Apostles, the Catholic Church has held in great veneration the sacred order of the diaconate, as the Apostle of the Gentiles himself bears witness. He expressly sends his greeting to the deacons together with the bishops and instructs Timothy which virtues and qualities are to be sought in them in order that they may be regarded as worthy of their ministry.” –Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem Pope Paul VI June 18, 1967

We are introduced to deacons in chapter six of the Book of Acts. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word “diakonia” which means service. This is a clear indication that a deacon is called like Christ to “serve and not be served.” The Holy Order of Deacon has three essential functions. He proclaims the Gospel, assists at the liturgy, and administers charitable works. A deacon is a vital vocation in that they baptize, witness the exchange of vows and bless marriages, distribute Holy Communion, impart benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, bring viaticum to the dying, read Sacred Scripture to the faithful, proclaim the Gospel, preach, officiate at funerals and burials and administer the sacramentals. They are usually involved in a variety of charitable works serving as Christ’s outreach as he performs his ministry of service.

[Photo: Bishop Mark and Deacon Michael Russo (right) join permanent diaconate candidates Chuck Williams, Rick Messina, and Nelson Lowes.]