This is always an exciting time for an diocesan church, and yet it is also a time of some confusion and uncertainty. Ultimately, it is a time of extraordinary faith and hope: the willingness to set out into waters that are as yet uncharted in that diocese, the recognition that a new group of ordained ministers who are not priests will be entering the official service of the People of God, and the courage to face whatever challenges develop as they happen with the conviction of the ongoing presence and action of the Holy Spirit to guide them through it.
As I type these words, I'm sitting at an airport gate in California awaiting my flights to Vancouver. I've been invited by Archbishop Miller to come to Vancouver and spend two days with the priests of the Archdiocese talking about the diaconate. I'll also be spending some time with the brand new group of aspirants to the diaconate, as they meet with the priests on Tuesday evening. I'm honored to be a part of the "launching" of this new adventure in the life of their local Church.
Please keep all of them (and your humble blogger!) in your prayers.