Transitional Diaconate Ordination
Four seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Fall River Diocese were ordained transitional deacons on Saturday, May 21, in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River. The newly ordained include Brian P. Connors, John P. Garabedian, Christopher D. Hughes, and Thiago Menezes Santos. As deacons, they are able to assist the priest at Mass and be an ordinary minister of the Eucharist, proclaim the Gospel and preach, baptize, and minister at other services.
We rejoice and thank God for His call that has brought these four men to this joyous celebration of the Transitional Diaconate, on their way, God willing, to their Priestly ordination next June.
As Pope Francis shared during his homily at the recent May 15th Canonization Mass in Rome, “To serve the Gospel and our brothers and sisters, to offer our lives without expecting anything in return, any worldly glory: this is a secret and it is our calling.” In answering God’s call to the priesthood, especially during their time in the diaconate, they are ordained in service, called to live these words ever more faithfully and help others do so.
As deacons, these men will be called into the ministry of the Word; to not only be hearers but now ministers in service of the Gospel. In addition, they will serve at the altar in preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Finally, they are called to be ministers of charity, to do as Jesus has done—he who came to serve and not to be served. It is my hope that these men will use the gift of ordination to do the work and will of God wherever they are called. To console with compassion, rejoice with hope, and most importantly, always bring the faithful and the lost closer to God.
Let us continue to hold these men in our prayers as they continue their studies in the Seminary for this last year. Let us pray that they conform their lives always to Jesus, be open to doing the will of God, caring for those entrusted to them, and in Jesus’ name to go and make disciples of all people. What a blessing and honor, one of my greatest joys as a Bishop, to ordain good and faithful men in and for our diocese.
The video of the Ordination Mass, as livestreamed on the Diocese Facebook page, is available for you to view on YouTube here.
Spring Adult Confirmation Conferral
On Thursday, May 19th, I was honored to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Mary’s Cathedral to the Confirmandi prepared through the Adult Confirmation program of our Diocesan Secretariat for the New Evangelization, as well as parishes throughout the Diocese.
During my homily, I shared with the Confirmandi that my hope and prayer was for the Holy Spirit to come upon them and do something great within them. I prayed that there was something deep in their hearts that had brought them to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit, but they have now come of their own accord and do so with fervor. On the day of their Baptism, most likely, their parents and grandparents made the promises, the very ones we renewed during the ceremony. Now, it was their turn to take on these promises and responsibilities and give their personal—I do.
The Spirit that came upon the Apostles 2000 years ago in Jerusalem is the same Spirit that comes upon all of us in our Confirmation. If nothing changes, we’ve missed a great opportunity in our life. The apostles heard and then announced with the power and the gift given to them through the Spirit; they could not keep it for themselves. To build it right here in the Church of Fall River. Fully initiated into the faith, we share the responsibilities of continuing to be moved and changed by the Holy Spirit and sharing the Good News with others.
The video of the Spring Adult Confirmation Mass, as livestreamed on the Diocese Facebook page, is available for you to view here.
Father David A. Pignato, Vicar for Priests for the Diocese of Fall River, will celebrate a special Memorial Day Mass in the Mausoleum Chapel (Notre Dame Cemetery, 1540 Stafford Road, Fall River) on May 30 at 10:00 am. We remember in prayer all those who have died in service to our country. All are welcome.
Wishing you and your family a very blessed and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha