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Deacons’ Council
September 17, 2003

Present: Deacons Delaney, Donoghue, Hickey, Messina, Shanahan, Whipple, and Wildes

Absent: Deacons Bulpett, Canova, Crimmins, Goldy, Guerrini, Hanson, Hardcastle, Mandosa, Menz, Morel, Ryan, Santuosso

A quorum not being present, no formal votes were taken, except as necessary to elect a Secretary.


1.  The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Deacon Donoghue. He led those present in a prayer service which included the song “From the Womb,” composed by Deacon Dan Burns, an opening prayer, a reading of 1 Thessalonians 5: 12-18, a concluding prayer and blessing.

2.  Before the meeting Deacon Donoghue had informed the members of Deacon Mandosa’s serious illness, which makes it impossible for him to be in attendance this evening or to continue in his duties as Secretary.

Voted: To elect Deacon Whipple Secretary. None opposed. Deacon Whipple present.

3.  Deacon Donoghue reported that the Office moved into Peterson Hall two weeks ahead of schedule. The Office has kept the same mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number and occupies five rooms. Deacon Donoghue hopes to be able to have an Open House in the new office space on the evening of the Mass for deceased members of the diaconate community (Wednesday, November 5, 2003).

Building security at Peterson Hall is strict. During business hours there is a receptionist at the door with the sculpted lions outside it. The receptionist can admit visitors.

4.  Deacon Donoghue reported that Sister Clare is volunteering to help with evaluations of candidates in the Class of 2006.

The Class of 2004 are finishing their summer internships in hospitals or prisons and will return to class on Tuesday, September 23.

In connection with the topic of summer internships Deacon Donoghue stated that he is considering whether it would be desirable to redesign internship around models in use elsewhere in the country. There could be a two-pronged approach based on those models.

  1. At candidacy they could give a list of things that deacons commonly do in parish ministry and require that each candidate participate in or observe each being performed by a deacon prior to the candidate’s ordination.
  2. The entire class could be required to participate in the Food for the Poor third world experience through a trip to Latin America in the summer before ordination.

Deacon Donoghue emphasized that he also recognizes the value of our present model of internships and that he has not made a decision to change it. The above is open for discussion, reflection, and discernment.

5.  There is no report from the Election Committee for this meeting. Deacon Donoghue will be in contact with Deacon Ryan. Deacon Shanahan noted that he has volunteered to handle candidate recruitment for the Merrimack Region.

6.  The revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) will be promulgated for the Archdiocese of Boston and go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent, 2003 (November 30). Between now and then, workshops will be held for priests and deacons to prepare them for the changes that will be required.

7.  The Archbishop wants to meet with the deacons of the archdiocese. At present it seems likely that there will be two meetings. Deacon Leo strongly urges every deacon to attend one of the meetings.

8.  Deacon Messina noted that the proposal for a Deacon Fund is still in channels for approval.

Deacon Hickey reported that the  bishops’ conference is still working on the new Norms for the Diaconate.

A video on Deacons’ Wives is being revised. The principal concern regards minority representation. This video is intended for training and is produced by the Secretariat for the Diaconate in the USCCB.

NDICE has decided to meet next year at Xavier University in Cincinnati rather than Notre Dame.

The theme of this year’s meeting was Social Justice. There were 280 to 300 deacons in attendance.

Deacon Hickey will go to Hawaii for the meeting of the National Association for Asian and Pacific Deacons. While in Hawaii he and Mrs. Hickey will also celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                John E. Whipple,


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