Diaconate Candidacy Mass

As I looked out at the eleven men presented for admission to the Candidacy for the Permanent Diaconate in our Diocese last Wednesday, I jokingly asked, where is the twelfth? 

What a great blessing for our Diocese to have these eleven respond to the call to discern the diaconate with this next step toward, God willing, ordination. Now more than ever, the Church needs holy ministers at her service. We know how busy life is, with many commitments to work, family, and so much more vying for our attention. Yet, these men desire to serve the Lord, to offer their gifts and talents, and to try to make a difference in the world.

During my homily, I mentioned three things I wanted the Candidates to contemplate about the ministry of deacon. First, I told them, you are called to be a disciple of Jesus. A disciple is one who learns from his master, and this goes far deeper than intellectual learning. It is not just about seeking to know what Jesus did but who He truly is; the most essential element of true discipleship comes from knowing Jesus in your heart. 

The second, I told them, examine your life and ask yourself — am I living as a witness to Christ? This is a question we should all ask ourselves, and if we are not, consider what we need to change to be a better disciple. The mission of every baptized Christian is to find ways to encounter Jesus every day and then to help others meet Him. Like John the Baptist, we must each decrease so that Jesus’ presence in us can increase. In the service of the diaconate, I reminded them — this preparation of the way of the Lord should be ever more central to your life as a disciple. You will have the most significant impact; you will enjoy a happy and effective ministry when the love you hold for the Lord and His Church flows genuinely from your heart.

Third, consider what it means to embrace the service of charity. The love and joy of serving others, of finding fulfillment and transformation, in all humility—this is where you’ll be most effective in your service to the Church and God. My prayers go with the eleven Candidates and their families as they continue their formation through study, mentorship, and service.

Blessing of the Fleet

“The fog and wind didn’t stop the 77th Blessing of the Fleet June 30 in Provincetown.
The blessing is part of the 28th Provincetown Portuguese Festival. Bishop Edgar da Cunha stood aboard the Provincetown II as a procession of boats made their way past the ferry that was docked at the end of MacMillan Pier.” ~ Cape Cod Times

Finding Mass in the Summer

Traveling to Provincetown for the Blessing of the Fleet this week, I was reminded of all the beautiful chapels and mission churches providing Masses over the summer to accommodate the influx of tourists and summer residents attending Mass on the weekends. Some of these chapels are unique places to worship or even simply visit to take in the quiet, the history, and the architecture. If you find yourself traveling or vacationing on Cape Cod, I invite you to take advantage of the Masses and other opportunities for worship offered in our parish churches and chapels. For further information, please visit our diocesan website or MassTimes.org.

I pray you and your family enjoy the summer with its typical slower pace and, for many, an opportunity to spend more time together, especially on vacation. I pray the beautiful weather forecast for Thursday is accurate so we may all celebrate with friends and family in the sunshine. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you, and please know of my continued prayers.

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River