Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Letter to a Newly-Ordained Deacon

The most recent issue of the National Catholic Reporter contains an article I wrote in the form of a letter to a newly-ordained deacon.

You can read it here.


  1. Bill:

    Our local Deacons' Fraternity is meeting on Monday Feb 14. In my "reminder" e-mail this morning to all of them, I sent them a link to your letter. I also plan on reading it out loud at that session.

    Great Wisdom!

    Only the very best of Blessings!

    Deacon Norb in Ohio

  2. Thanks, Brother Norb. Give my best to everyone.


  3. Bill,

    As always your words hit home with me. I have an aunt who has been a nun for over 50 years and she is very resentful of Deacons. She feels it diminishes her service for one thing. There is no talking to her on the topic just a willingness to listen and pray. As an idea for a post why don't you address something to those of us still in formation. I'm sure you remember that it gets a little frustrating, lonely, confusing, and just down right difficult, at times. Thanks again for your service.

  4. As a newly ordained deacon, I appreciated very much your thoughtful essay!

    Deacon William (Chip) Wilson
    Belmont, N.C.

  5. Dcn. Bill,
    Don't put family so far down the list! Your family is the foundation for your ministry. Keep it solid.

  6. Dear Mickardo,

    Thanks for your note.

    Couple of things: my "list" was not intended in any kind of "priority order" except for the deacon coming LAST. That was the point I was trying to make.

    While I don't disagree with your comment in practical terms, I must make the theological/sacramental point that the foundation of ordained ministry is found in Christ and in the action of the Spirit invoked during ordination. That's the true foundation.

    Building upon that foundation, of course, are the family and ecclesial communities within whom we live and serve. But even celibate deacons, including widowed deacons, find their true foundation in Christ.

    God bless,


  7. Wonderful letter, Bill. Thank you so much for reminding us of what we were called from and what we are called to be. I intend to share this with my brother deacons on our retreat this weekend. God's peace...

  8. Thought you might like to know that our archdiocesan aspirants and candidates were sent emails with link to your letter by their Director. That's a total of 29 guys. Pray for them.

  9. Dear Deacon,

    Please add our blog to your blogroll.

    Folloing the great graces that flowed from the Year for Priests, we are proposing the observation of a Holy Year for Nuns and we're writing to the Holy See to suggest it. Please feel free to adopt the suggestion and to promote it:

    We've already been featured by 'his hermenuticness':

    God bless you!