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Deacons’ Council
March 19, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m., and the opening prayer was offered.

In the absence of the Secretary, attendance was not recorded.

Deacon Fund Update. All necessary documents have been prepared and forwarded to Chancellor David Smith for review by the diocesan attorneys. A response is hoped for in two to three weeks. We are proposing the creation of a nonprofit corporation separate from the archdiocese, to be called the Deacon Fund, Inc. Its purposes are to be for the benefit of deacons in need and for the support of the formation of deacons. The articles of incorporation and by-laws have been drafted. Fundraising will commence after approval, possibly to be combined with an effort at building community within the diaconate family through a social event.

Budget Issues. The Secretariats have made their presentation to Bishop Lennon, and at this point it appears that we will have to cut $40,000 from our budget of $180,000. This year’s budget had been reduced 11% from the previous year’s. Cuts had been anticipated even before the recent crisis, since the Cardinal’s Appeal had seen a decline in revenue. The only way to save $40,000 is to make reductions in the amount of salary payments. It also appears that it will be necessary to charge tuition for participation in the formation program. The amount will be about $500 per semester. In cases where a candidate cannot afford to pay the full tuition, it is hoped that the Deacon Fund will be able to help.

Office Move & Classroom Space, The office will be moving to Peterson Hall, probably in June. It is very likely that classrooms will move to Peterson Hall for the coming academic year as well.

Reports. Formation is ongoing and the Director is optimistic for next year
There is nothing new to report on the Food for the Poor proposal.

Old Business. None.

New Business, There was discussion regarding elections. No votes were taken.

There was a national survey asking what percentage of deacons make their annual retreats. It seems to be 25 to 30%.

At the Glastonbury retreat there was a common opinion that many deacons don’t see benefits from the Council. It is clear that the Council helps the Director; the question is how it helps other deacons.

There was a suggestion that a hard copy of Council minutes should be furnished to each deacon.

Another suggestion was the formation of a subcommittee in each region to gather the deacons of the region. They could provide for deacons to backfill for overworked deacons or priests.

In the North and South regions, deacons are assigned to assist the bishop at all confirmation. But when there is a deacon assigned to a parish, he should normally be the one to serve at confirmation.

Adjournment, At 9:20 p.m., the meeting adjourned to June 4, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John E. Whipple
Acting Secretary


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