Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finally, at home in Monterey

Well, friends, it's been a long time between postings.  Last week, I moved into my new offices at the historic Diocese of Monterey, California.  I'll be doing a variety of things here, from teaching to supervising to, well, whatever the bishop wants me to do!  I finally got internet connectivity and so now I'm able to get back to the blog.

Monterey holds a special place in our hearts, since we lived here back in the late 1970's when I attended Russian language school here at the Defense Language Institute during my days in the Navy.  Yesterday I drove by the school and, of course, very little remains of those old buildings!  I've also been spending time at the Naval Postgraduate School, so I feel very much reconnected to my Navy roots.

So, what shall we talk about?  If anyone is reading this and has any suggestions, questions, or topics you'd like to discuss, reply to this post and we'll give it a go!

Seven of the twenty-one Franciscan missions founded along the California coast by Fr. Junipero Serra are located within the Diocese of Monterey.  In fact, one of them serves as the diocesan Cathedral, which is across the street from our diocesan offices.  Not a bad view, and with that I'll end this post.


  1. I am so glad you're back and look forward to new blog posts. My wife and I are fond of the California missions because our experiences at one of them occasioned our return to the Church after many years away. People are sometimes surprised to hear that since California has a reputation as a post-Christian society, its old missions and other churches serving mainly as reminders of an age of faith that is now long past.

    In many ways, California does seem like a great candidate for the new evangelization or re-evangelization. At some point, I wish you would talk about the role of the diaconate in that urgent task.

  2. Welcome to California, Deacon Bill! I am a candidate for the diaconate in the Archdiocese of San Francisco but grew up in the Diocese of Monterey.

    Wife and I recently made a pilgrimage-novena to Bl. Fr. Serra by traveling to 9 of the Missions (far south as San Diego)but i have been to all 21 of course. Evangelization and the Missions are so "California"!

    A couple of your books are on our Summer recommended reading list. Maybe sometime you could speak to our class or 16?

    God bless and welcome!


  3. I am glad to see you back on line. I am a newly ordained deacon (ordained this past Saturday May 28). I am the father of two sons (ages 7 & 2) and my wife and i will be married 15 years in October. We have enjoyed the past four years or aspirency and canidacy and are looking forward to the upcoming years of ministry. Any special thoughts or advise for a newby with a young family? I've enjoyed your posts over the past couple of years and always look foward to your thoughts.

    Thanks and Gos Bless... Enjoy California

    Dcn Stephen

  4. Deacon Bill, I'm glad to hear you've landed safely in your new home!

    Here's a question, somewhat related to things you've mentioned here in the immediate past. How are ordained deacons being utilized in the military, and given the pushback from bishops to the Military Archdiocese, do you see deacons being accepted into military chaplaincy programs?

  5. Responding to Paul -- but I have to admit Deacon Bill is more current here. I think there are several things to consider:

    --In "conventional-wisdom protestant-speak, a "deacon" is a lay person with a title -- not a clergy. We do have that barrier to break-down.

    --This real obstacle will not be the military but the United States Bishops. IF, and whenever, they press the point with the Department of Defense, it will happen.

    --Recently, someone asked me how this might work since ordained Chaplains are military officers and "Chaplain Assistants" are enlisted rates. The answer is simple: there are five branches of our military. Each one of them EXCEPT the Air Force still allows Warrant Officers. Create a "Chaplain Technician" occupational specialty within the Warrant ratings and allow RC permanently ordained deacons to apply (no doubt some consideration for other denominational equivalents as well). If an already commissioned office is ordained a deacon and he wants to become a Chaplain, then he moves to the equivalent Warrant rating.

    It is still a dream but folks are thinking about it.

    Only the very best of blessings!

    Deacon Norb in Ohio

  6. Deacon Stephen

    It's so good to hear of a diocese that recognizes the importance of bringing young men to the diaconate. I had three small children when I was ordained also married about 15 years. The best thing I could have done was to be open about the trials and tribulations of raising my family. I shared in general terms of course, but when a couple was in crisis, it was a great blessing to be able to tell them I had gone through the same thing and share more specifically with them. We were a small community, so it was wide-spread knowledge pretty quickly that I had a daughter in therapy. That brought more people to my door than any homily I ever preached. Tell you community about your family -- they love to hear the stories. My homilies were peppered with lessons learned through the eyes of my children. This is a great time -- enjoy it.