Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Permanent Deacons Renew Commitment To Ministry

Published September 29, 2005

Some 100 permanent deacons of the Archdiocese of Atlanta attended a recommitment Mass and convocation on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, where they renewed their vows to serve the church through their ministry of word, service and charity.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory thanked the men for their dedicated service to the church of Atlanta and for the renewal of their vows. “Thanks for the service you provide to the archdiocese and the gratitude is mine,” he said. “Since I’ve been here as archbishop, I’ve been impressed by the word, worship and especially the service provided by the deacons in the archdiocese and your wives’ presence enhances your service.”

Deacon Alfred Mitchell, the director of deacon personnel who will retire at the end of the year, also thanked the men for their integral ministry in parishes, and Deacon Loris Sinanian, director of deacon formation, updated attendees with news of the diaconate formation program. He reported that 86 men are currently in formation and 16 will be ordained next February. The program, which will admit 12 new men into formation in January, involves one year for application and screening, one year of aspirancy, and four years of formation and a summer assignment and social justice ministries.

Deacon John McManus of Corpus Christi Church, Stone Mountain, president of the Council of Deacons, provided an update on council activities over the past year, including the compilation of documents on the faculties granted to deacons, which will be presented to the archbishop for approval. He said that the continuing education requirements for spiritual development for men who’ve been ordained have now been defined. An emergency fund to support deacons in times of crisis has been proposed and will also be presented to the archbishop for approval.

Men applying for the formation program must be recommended by their pastors. Those who are recommended are invited to attend informational sessions directed at explaining the permanent diaconate, time and personal commitments, the need for consent and participation of wives during the formation, and academic, spiritual and pastoral expectations. The program is directed at preparing men spiritually, academically and pastorally for ordination and to assist the church in its mission to save souls. Each candidate has a deacon mentor and spiritual director who is a priest. Men who are called and chosen will be formed and sent to teach, guard and bear witness to and serve the church through their example of their lives and their ministry.

Deacon Sinanian later added that Archbishop Gregory has asked for any priest or deacon interested in filling the position of director of deacon personnel to send a resume to Msgr. Paul Reynolds, vicar general in curia, at the Catholic Center, 680 W. Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30308-1984.