October 29, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 25
Deacon Arthur S. Thompson, of Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, makes the promise of obedience.
Bishop exhorts new deacons: Be ‘saints, scholars and gentlemen’
As he prepared to ordain 19 men to the diaconate Oct. 13 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo exhorted them to be “saints, scholars and gentlemen.”
In giving this exhortation to the men who had been in ministry formation for four years, the Bishop said it was similar to the advice Gen. Douglas MacArthur gave to the corps of Cadets at West Point during his farewell address when he was 82.
Deacon Christopher Corrigan, of St. Augustine’s, Richmond, makes the promise of obedience to Bishop DiLorenzo.
“We have some advice for you as deacons,” he asserted. “We are exhorting you as a Church to be saints, scholars and gentlemen.”
In addressing the Cadets, the retired general said “Those who graduate from the Corps become “officers and gentlemen” by following a code of conduct which embraces duty, honor and country,” Bishop DiLorenzo said.
In following this advice, the deacons would have a ministry which would encompass every man, woman and child as they strive to be reconcilers and unifiers and be formed by the Word of God.
Deacon James Tubbs, of St. John the Evangelist, Waynesboro, right, is vested by his wife, Sharon, after being ordained. Next to him Deacon Kevin Trail, of St. Stephen Martyr, Chesapeake, is vested by wife Patty.
“We really need you to be present to our young people, especially those in elementary school and high school,” he said.
The Bishop emphasized the importance of being a scholar so that the deacon would know the trends of society and how to respond to them. This could be a part of the new evangelization, he suggested.
“We need to be able to touch people’s hearts, not just fill the pews,” he said. “We know people are drifting away.”
Bishop DiLorenzo encouraged the deacons to work at strengthening marriage and family life and to make outreach to the poor and marginalized and also to persons with disabilities.
The deacons at the prostration.
“You have the tools to engage young people,” the Bishop continued. “We are asking you to give your precious time to religious education and formation of young people and adults. We also need you to help us with the elderly population which is continuing to grow.”
Referring again to the advice of General MacArthur, Bishop DiLorenzo said, “We as a Church ask something similar of you. Be saints, scholars and gentlemen.
“God bless you and your ministry.”