My Brother and Sisters,
The Diocese of Norwich Diaconate Convocation has been scheduled for Friday evening January 10, 2014 through 1:00 PM on Sunday January 12, 2014. Deacons and if possible, their wives are expected to participate in the entire convocation and make arrangements in their parish or ministry for other coverage.
Deacons and their wives are invited to come on Friday evening for a Mass, dinner and social and stay at Immaculata until lunch on Sunday afternoon. The pastors of deacons are invited to come for the opening Mass and dinner.
The cost of the convocation is paid through the deacon continuing education fund which is paid by the parishes with deacons. I am working with your pastors to secure their support of the deacon continuing education fund.
The theme of the convocation this year will be Diaconate Ministry, Living the Mission of Christ as a Herald of the Gospel. Deacon Matt Dulka, Western Regional Director for Maryknoll and the Director of the Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners will be with us to lead us through a reflection on the important role that deacons and wives play in carrying on the mission of Jesus. As heralds of the Gospel, we are called to cross borders and bring God’s mission of love everywhere we go, from our home parish and our local community to the ends of the earth and everywhere in between.
Announcement: Restoration of Permanent Diaconate Formation Program
The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, has issued a pastoral statement, Diakonia: Instrument of God’s Own Charity, which restores the deacon formation program in the Diocese of Norwich. Although the diocesan formation program was suspended in 2007, now, after significant study and consultation concerning the role of the permanent deacon in the Church, and in the Diocese of Norwich specifically, Bishop Cote has reinstated the formation program for permanent deacons.
Together with the release of this pastoral statement, Bishop Cote announced the appointment of Deacon Douglas A. Hoffman as the Director of Permanent Deacon Personnel. As the Director of Permanent Deacon Personnel, Deacon Hoffman will assist Very Reverend Dennis M. Perkins, the Vicar for Clergy, in ministering to the needs of the permanent deacons.
Deacon Hoffman succeeds Deacon Michael C. Berstene who has served in that position since June 2002. Bishop Cote joins with the Deacons of the Diocese in thanking Deacon Michael C. Berstene for his ten years of faithful service as Director of Permanent Deacon Personnel.
The Diocese of Norwich has benefited greatly from the restoration of the permanent diaconate to the whole Church, and now looks forward to further securing the valued service of dedicated deacons in the Diocese.
The restoration of the diocesan deacon formation program and the appointment of the new director are effective on June 9, 2012, the feast of St. Ephrem, deacon and doctor of the Church.
N.B. Diakonia: Instrument of God’s Own Charity will be available on the Diocesan Website on Monday, June 11, 2012.