Pope Pius Awards
On Monday, I was so pleased to present the Pope Saint Pius X Youth Awards to youth from parishes across the Fall River Diocese during a prayers service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. The annual award, named for the pontiff who created the Fall River Diocese in 1904 and presented for the first time in 2001, recognizes teens who serve their parish community with selflessness, commitment, and dedication. The list of the 40 worthy recipients can be found — here.
Our lives are a great gift from God. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians that we are made in the image of God, and we are here to offer our lives in service to others. There is great joy when we help others; when we do good and make a difference, especially when in the service of God and our Church.
In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear, “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” Those young people honored on Monday have discovered how to be that salt and that light in their parishes. They have chosen to witness to their faith in a time when doing so is increasingly more difficult. In engaging in parish life, they are truly shining their light before others. We pray for all our youth to remain faithful, courageous, and steadfast in their desire to live their Catholic faith. We pray they allow nothing in this world to extinguish their desire to do good and to love God.
The Pope St. Pius X Youth Awards Ceremony was live-streamed and can be viewed on the Diocese of Fall River Facebook— here.
We are joyfully looking forward to celebrating the ordination of 15 men to the Permanent Diaconate and one man to the Transitional Diaconate for the Diocese of Fall River on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River.
In the Catholic Church, the diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry. Deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons. Those not planning to be ordained priests are called permanent deacons. Functionally, there is no difference between a permanent deacon and a transitional deacon. They share the same diaconal roles and responsibilities.
Those to be ordained Permanent Deacons (along with their home parishes) are:
James “Gus” Adams, St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish, Falmouth; Jeremias Carranza, Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Parish, New Bedford; Richard Fish, Christ the King Parish, Mashpee; David “Dave” 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; 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 Jesus Parish, Attleboro; and Scott Taveira, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish, New Bedford.
These men are members of the tenth class to be ordained as permanent deacons in the Diocese of Fall River. Fourteen of the men are married, and many have children; one is single. They work or have worked in a variety of occupations.
To be ordained a transitional deacon is Bryan Bangs, a member of Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich. This spring, he is completing his third year of theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey.
The diaconate ordination on May 20 will be in the context of Mass, following the Gospel. It will include the rites of Calling and Presentation of Candidates for Ordination.
After ordination, accomplished by the laying of the bishop’s hands on the head of each candidate and a prayer of consecration, a member of each of the ordinand’s family will bring his vestments to the altar. At the altar, the vestments will be handed to assisting priests or deacons, who will then vest the new deacons.
Tickets have been distributed for the event; open seating space will be limited. Learn more about those preparing for ordination—here.
Happy Mother’s Day
There are many forms of motherhood — some come about in a physical sense; however, as St. John Paul II shared in his apostolic letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, all women are called to participate in a motherhood obtained “according to the Spirit” (cf. Rom 8:4). What a beautiful way to celebrate the gift of all the women in our lives, who in their own special way bless each of us. Please know of my prayers for all of you and, in a very special way, for mothers this week.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha