Number of priests, permanent deacons worldwide continues to grow

From CNS: The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests and permanent deacons rose slightly in 2013, while the number of men and women in religious orders declined, according to Vatican statistics. For the second year in a row, the number of candidates for the priesthood also decreased. The numbers come [Read More...]

Diocese of Worcester mourns permanent deacon who became a priest

This piece of news caught my eye this morning, from The Catholic Free Press:  The funeral Mass for Father Paul W. Lemire was held Friday at St. Anne Church, 130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Burial is in St. John’s Cemetery in Worcester. Father Lemire, 79, senior priest in residence at St. Anne’s, died Saturday in UMass [Read More...]

From evangelical Protestant to Catholic deacon

From The Salem News in Massachusetts: If the deacon is a different sort of religious figure for the church, then Chuck Hall, 62, is a different sort of deacon. He came of age as an evangelical Protestant. Only slowly did he gravitate toward conversion, drawn by, of all things, the priest abuse scandals. As one [Read More...]

City to dedicate portion of street to honor deacons

This may be unprecedented. Details from the Desert Dispatch in Barstow, California: For as long as Don Burgett can remember, he has answered the call to serve. Twenty-five years ago Burgett answered a special calling without hesitation. “I heard the calling from God,” Burgett said. “And I accepted the calling.” Burgett joined forces with Margarito [Read More...]

Take a look: “Keep it Catholic,” website for permanent deacons in New Zealand

This popped up on my radar screen this morning, and it’s worth a visit: “Keep it Catholic,” a fairly comprehensive website described as “an initiative of the Permanent Diaconate in the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand.” The site has some valuable insight for all of us who serve as deacons, with essays and news and [Read More...]

Two deacons make a mark on Christian radio

The Toledo Blade has a long look at the rise of Christian radio in Ohio—and spotlights Annunciation Radio and the two deacons who are bringing The Word to the air: Scan the radio dials in northwest Ohio and it won’t be long before you come across a religious song, sermon, lesson in Christian living, or [Read More...]

O happy fault: living with a deacon at Easter time

It can’t be easy living with a deacon, especially now. Every year, for a few weeks before Easter, the deacon pulls out sheet music and starts practicing that Everest of liturgical song, the Exsultet:  a nine-minute a capella chant sung in near-darkness at the start of the Easter Vigil. Around our home, the Exsultet is [Read More...]

Francis names a Franciscan for Lexington — and one involved in deacon formation

He’s also relatively young, 48. The press release: Today, at 12-noon Rome time (7 a.m. EDT) Pope Francis appointed Conventual Franciscan Father John Stowe as the Third Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington. A press conference will be held at The Catholic Center, 1310 W. Main St. in Lexington at 10 a.m., Thursday, March [Read More...]

The traveling deacon: to Erie and Chicago, on a wing and a prayer

So I did a little traveling last weekend—more than I expected, actually. I flew out to Erie, PA to give a talk to a couple dozen deacons and their wives. The first thing to know: it was brutally cold. I had been in St. Petersburg 48 hours earlier, where it was 79 degrees; Erie, with [Read More...]

Former Philadelphia sportswriter, 60, about to be ordained a priest

Let’s hear it for another journalist entering religious life. From The Boston Globe:  Kevin Mulligan, about to be ordained a Catholic priest, figures some long and fulfilling days await him. He knows about long days, devotion to duty, seeing a story through to its finish. Soon to turn 60 years old, he spent 25 years [Read More...]