Published May 26, 2005
Deacon Alfred Mitchell, director for deacon personnel in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was recently given a prestigious recognition at the national Association of Diaconate Directors.
Nearly 300 diocesan deacon directors, spouses and staff attended the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD) 29th annual convention held at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel April 13-16.
NADD presented its William Philbin Award to Deacon Mitchell, in recognition of his leadership to the quality and growth of the permanent diaconate. The Philbin Award is given in recognition of contributions to the permanent diaconate on local and national levels. The award is named in memory of Father William Philbin, who assisted with designing and implementing the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He died in 1972 in a plane crash on his way from Washington, D.C., to the ordination of the first deacons in Chicago.
Deacon Mitchell, who was ordained a deacon in 1987, serves at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Decatur. He was also presented with a NADD Recognition Award for his leadership and dedicated service on the Executive Board from 2002-2005, serving as president-elect, president and past president.
In addition, the Bart O’Leary Award was presented to Deacon J. Samuel Anzalone of the Diocese of Birmingham, Ala. The Bart O’Leary Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to NADD, as exemplified by leadership among directors and vision and promotion of the diaconate. Bart O’Leary, for whom the award was named, is retired from the permanent diaconate program in Honolulu and is a former two-term president of NADD.
Deacon Anzalone was also elected to the office of president-elect and will assume the office of president following the 2006 meeting. Ordained in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1987, he was a member of the Archdiocesan Diaconal Board from 1987 until 1994. He served at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Atlanta, from 1987 until 1992 and at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta, from 1992 to 1995. Transferring to the Diocese of Birmingham, he was appointed director of diaconate formation by Bishop David E. Foley in 1997. Deacon Anzalone has also served as NADD representative for Region V (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee) and as chairman of the association’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution and Bylaws.
The theme for this year’s NADD convention was “Restorative Justice and Implementation of the National Directory.” Keynote presenters included Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, Bishop Frederick Campbell of Columbus, Ohio, and chair of the Bishop’s Committee for the Diaconate on the United States Council of Catholic Bishops; and Deacon William T. Ditewig, Ph.D., executive director, Secretariat for the Bishop’s Committee for the Diaconate, USCCB.
NADD president Timothy J. McAuliffe of the Diocese of Albany presided over the meeting and at the close of the convention handed over the gavel to Deacon Daniel Peterson of the Diocese of Phoenix, who will serve as NADD president for the coming year.
NADD was organized in 1976 to support diaconate directors, associate directors and their staff with their mission to enable deacons, candidates, aspirants and their wives to utilize their gifts in the service of the Church. Its membership includes 336 deacons, priests and lay people representing 161 dioceses in the United States and Canada.