Called to Be Servants

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Five seminary graduates are ordained to the diaconate on October 3.

Those in formation for the diaconate for the Archdiocese of Detroit study at Sacred Heart Major Seminary for at least six years, commuting to night classes from full-time jobs, while at the same time balancing family life. Coming from varied backgrounds—from teacher to electrical engineer to a Tae Kwon Do instructor, to name a few—all have the common commitment in wanting to serve God and his people.

Serving is what deacons are called to do, as the word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonos, which means “servant.”

On October 3, 2015, four men of the Archdiocese of Detroit were ordained to the permanent diaconate, in addition to one man for the Diocese of Lansing. David Drysdale, John Fitzmaurice, Thomas Leonard, and Phillip McCown from the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Daniel Hall from the Diocese of Lansing, all received the Sacrament of Holy Orders from Archbishop Allen Vigneron at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, after having completed their years of spiritual formation and study.

When the archbishop handed the newly ordained the Book of the Gospels, he proclaimed, “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” This is a moment the ordained men will remember, as it sums up our mission as deacons and the essence of the New Evangelization.

The men for Detroit received their parish assignments during the Mass. Deacon Drysdale will serve at St. Joseph Parish, Trenton; Deacon Fitzmaurice will serve at St. Mary Parish, St. Clair; Deacon Leonard will serve at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Dearborn; and Deacon McCown will serve at St. Mark Parish, Warren. Besides serving in parishes, permanent deacons are encouraged to serve outside the parish, either with prison ministries, working in soup kitchens or hospice facilities, or visiting the elderly and sick.

If you or anyone you know is interested in beginning the journey towards the diaconate—either with classes at the seminary or has questions—please call me, Dcn. Kevin Breen, at 313-596-7142. 

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Dcn. Kevin Breen

Dcn. Kevin Breen serves at St. Genevieve-St. Maurice Parish in Livonia, Michigan. He is associate director for the permanent diaconate for the Archdiocese of Detroit and a Sacred Heart alumnus.

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