Last evening, seventeen men were admitted to candidacy for the Permanent Diaconate of the Diocese of Fall River. Admission to candidacy occurs when the prospective candidates have reached maturity of purpose and have demonstrated other necessary qualifications along with their completion of the required preparatory steps. The prospective candidates are the tenth class for the Permanent Diaconate of the Diocese and have been in the formation program for over one year.
The candidates have completed a period of Aspirancy during which they were advised of the role of the Deacon, expectations for formation and the ministry to which they have been called. Father Oliveira and Deacon Lucca, as well as other deacons, formed a team with the purpose of evaluating them and their applications.
Please keep these men in your prayers, as they continue with three more years of academic, pastoral, and spiritual formation before ordination as deacons:
James Adams (St. Anthony Parish, East Falmouth); Jeremias Carranza (Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James, New Bedford); Richard Fish (Christ the King Parish, Mashpee); David Gaspar (St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Swansea); Tyrone Gonsalves (Corpus Christi Parish, East Sandwich); Leonard Guyette (Corpus Christi Parish, East Sandwich); Philip Koch (St. Joan of Arc Parish, Orleans); David Laird (Christ the King Parish, Mashpee); Thomas Martin (Corpus Christi Parish, East Sandwich); Joseph Martino (St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown).
Also, Daniel Merline (St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown); Americo Miranda (Our Lady of Grace Parish, Westport); John O’Brien (St. Mary Parish, Mansfield); David Roderick (Corpus Christi Parish, East Sandwich); Shawn Seybert (St. Theresa of the Child of Jesus Parish, Attleboro); Scott Taveira (Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, New Bedford); and Michael Wojcik (St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Taunton).
All Souls’ Day
I look forward to celebrating our annual All Souls’ Day Mass next week on Monday, November 2 at 12:00 noon at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Fall River. The Mass will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Fall River’s Facebook page.
Each year, All Souls’ Day is a time for remembering those we have cherished and the gifts they gave us. It is a celebration of the lives that have touched ours. This year, the observance and the message of this holy day carries a deeper sense of meaning, as all of us have been touched in some way by the pain of sickness and some have even struggled with the loss of a loved one. We have been reminded of the fragility and beauty of life and we approach All Souls’ Day with deepened gratitude for God’s gifts of life and health.
If you choose to make a gift to the Catholic Appeal in memory of someone who has made a significant difference in your life between now and November 1, I will bring your special prayer with me and place it on the altar when I celebrate our All Souls’ Day Mass. Your loved ones will also be with me in my daily prayers throughout the month of November.
Next Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day. You probably don’t need a reminder; perhaps you’ve already even voted. Our Church teaches that citizens should take an active role in public life. The U.S. Bishops point out that in our Catholic tradition, “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” Toward that end, the United States’ bishops provide a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics.
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States is offered as guidance for our faithful people as they exercise their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. The Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship document is supplemented by videos, study guides, and other resources; and is available in English and Spanish.
No bishop or priest should endorse a political candidate or a political party. The Catholic Church teaches that decisions about voting are to be made by individual Catholics using their well-formed consciences. To be sure, a well-formed conscience requires effort on our part: being open to truth, studying Scripture and Church teaching, examining facts and background information, and prayerful reflection.
I encourage everyone to vote. As Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship notes, “As Catholics, we bring the richness of our faith to the public square. We draw from both faith and reason as we seek to affirm the dignity of the human person and the common good of all.”
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha