From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
 
The Roman Catholic Church provides opportunities for men to serve as Permanent Deacons. Most of these men are married or widowed, and they are ordained as ministers usually after a rigorous period of five years of training and formation.  One of our parishioners, Ron Leidenfrost, was ordained as a Deacon by Archbishop Gregory at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Saturday, February 4th.  Ron serves on the altar as an ordained cleric at Saint Brigid this Sunday for the first time, at the 10:45 a.m. Mass. 

As a Deacon, Ron will assist the Church in many ways.  He will prepare families for the baptism of their children and preside at the celebration of the sacrament.  He will also assist couples in the preparation for the celebration of marriage, and witness marriages when deemed appropriate.  He will also counsel couples whose marriages are troubled in some way, and will also counsel those whose marriages have not endured for one reason or another.  He will advise them to seek the healing they need, especially when appropriate through the Catholic process of annulment.

Deacons are also called to be servant leaders, and Deacon Ron will serve our faith community by visiting the sick and by participating in various outreach projects including working with the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and other important ministries.  Serving on the altar and preaching the word of God are also very important responsibilities given to our Deacons.  Deacon Ron will assist on the altar at Mass and will preach at Mass at times deemed appropriate.

The following prayer composed by Fr. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh, a seminary Rector, reflects the essence of the ministry of Deacon:

LORD JESUS, YOU CAME TO SERVE, NOT TO BE SERVED, FORM WITHIN US YOUR GENEROUS SPIRIT;
FILL US WITH YOUR LOVE, THAT WE MAY LOVE THE FATHER AS YOU LOVE HIM.
FILL US WITH YOUR COMPASSION, THAT WE MAY SEE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AS YOU SEE THEM.
FILL US WITH YOUR COURAGE, THAT WE MAY GIVE OUR LIVES IN SERVICE TO THE CHURCH AS YOU GAVE YOUR LIFE FOR HER.
FILL US WITH THAT SPIRIT WHICH WILL MAKE US PREACHERS OF YOUR WORD, MINISTERS OF YOUR SACRIFICE,
  SERVANTS OF YOUR BRIDE, FRIENDS OF THE POOR, AND THE VOICE OF THE FORGOTTEN.
TRANSFORM US THROUGH YOUR HOLY SPIRIT
  SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFORM THE WORLD INTO YOUR KINGDOM OF JUSTICE AND FAITH. AMEN.

As we reflect on this prayer, we understand that Deacon Ron will be assisting our faith community at Saint Brigid in many ways, and he needs our prayers and support. Please welcome our new Deacon as he begins this important phase of his journey of faith.

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