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Deacons’ Council


March 16, 2005

Present:  Archbishop Seán; Deacons Donoghue, Boyle, Crimmins, Guerrini, Hardcastle, Hickey, Pepi, Rooney, Shanahan, Spiri, Straub, Turner, and Whipple

Absent:  Deacons Delaney, Koffel, Ryan, and Wildes



            Minutes of the Council meeting of January 12, 2005, and a list of the members of the newly elected Council were provided. New members also received copies of the Deacons’ Council Guidelines.

1. Opening Prayer.

Deacon Donoghue began the meeting at 7:05 p.m. He welcomed Archbishop Seán, who led the opening prayer.

2. Welcome Newly Elected Members.

            Deacon Donoghue welcomed newly elected members Straub of the Central Region, Pepi of Merrimack, Turner of North, Spiri of West, and Boyle and Rooney of South.

3. Archbishop Seán O’Malley.

            Deacon Donoghue provided Archbishop Seán with a brief synopsis of the history and operation of the Council.

            Archbishop Seán stated that in his former dioceses he had met regularly with the Deacons’ Council, making it parallel to the diocesan Pastoral and Presbyteral Councils.

            The Archbishop engaged in a colloquy with the members of the Council in which he indicated the following thoughts.

            Deacon Rooney said that for the tasks set for us by Archbishop Seán, the Council members need the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the deacons in their regions. Deacon Donoghue said that the information was readily available and would be provided.

            Archbishop Seán left the meeting at this point to meet with the Hispanic candidates for the diaconate, who were having a session of their formation at that time.

4. Council Guidelines.

Deacon Donoghue noted that copies of the Guidelines had been provided to the new members of the Council

5. Deacon Convocation May 7, 2005.

            The Convocation will begin with Mass in the morning. There will be recognition of the Class of 1980 during the day as well as a remembrance of the deceased deacons. Among those present will be Archbishop Seán and Deacon Bill Ditewig, who will give a talk.

6. National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of permanent Deacons in the United States.

            The Directory is available online at http// (Note that the last dot is not part of the URL.) Much of the directory is of direct concern to bishops and directors as they supervise and implement diaconate programs. But the parts on the ministry and life of deacons are also of interest to individual deacons.

7. NADO Report … Deacon Mike Hickey.

            Deacon Hickey has been elected President of the National Association of Diaconate Organizations. The organizations making up the Association represent 14,000 members. The Association encourages deacons to become associate members.

            The new chairman of the bishops’ committee on the diaconate, Bishop Campbell of Columbus, will call the next meeting of the committee in June.

            The Association is preparing for its next national conference. The most recent one was in Baltimore.

            Deacon Hickey strongly encourages deacons and their wives to attend the Diaconate Retreat to be held May 27-30 at Miramar in Duxbury. The theme of the retreat is Social Justice and the Deacon.

8. Other Business.

Notice of the election will be sent to all deacons.

Deacon Donoghue called for the election of a chairman and a secretary of the Council.

Deacon Whipple was nominated for chairman. There were no further nominations, and Deacon Whipple was elected.

Deacon Pepi was nominated for secretary. There were no further nominations, and Deacon Pepi was elected. It was noted that Deacon Whipple, who had been secretary, had been taking notes, so he will prepare the minutes of this meeting as outgoing secretary.

9. Next Meeting.

            The next meeting of the Council will be Wednesday, June 15, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in Bishop Peterson Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 9:06.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                (Deacon) John E. Whipple, Secretary

Note: After the meeting Deacon Donoghue indicated to Deacon Whipple that he would consult with him concerning the agenda for future meetings. In view of the role of Council members as representatives of the deacons of their regions, Deacon Whipple invites all members to let him know of any items that they would like to have presented to the Council.

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