Back to Home


Annual Memorial Mass for Deceased Members of the Diaconate Community

This year on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 1PM, the Boston Diaconate Community will gather to remember all our deceased brothers and sisters who have been called home to the Lord.  You are cordially invited to this liturgy of remembrance, which will take place at St. Margaret Mary Church, 845 High Street, Westwood, MA. The Mass will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend due to Covid-19.

We will be remembering in a special way those members of the Diaconate Community who died during this past year. (See attached documents)

During the liturgy, a Candle Lighting Service of Remembrance will take place.

Due to COVID-19, space is limited in the church, so please call Pat DeBiase to pre-register.

Pat can be reached at 617- 779-3645 (please leave a message) or e-mail her at

We look forward to seeing you or having you join us virtually for the liturgy at St. Margaret Mary, Westwood,  November 15 at 1pm.

Fraternally yours in Christ,
Deacon Christopher Connelly
Director, Office of the Permanent Diaconate

Communion and visiting the sick during thepandemic

A question has come about regarding the Archdiocese policy on visiting the sick and brining communion.
Per the Archdiocese:

Communion may be brought to the sick and homebound under the following conditions.

An individual member of the clergy or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion may visit only one Communion call in any fourteen-day period.

The rationale is to prevent the spread of the virus by the person bringing Communion. If the minister were to visit five communion calls in one morning, and the first recipient had Covid and gave it to the minister, potentially he or she could give it to four others, all in vulnerable categories. Thus, only one call each two weeks.

So, for instance, if you have fifty Communion calls, and you want to get Communion to each one once a month, you will need twenty-five visitors.

The minister must wear a mask and must disinfect his or her hands before giving Communion, and again after leaving the home.

If it is feasible for the communicant to wear a mask, that should be done.

If it is feasible for the minister to be met outside of the home, that should be done.

The visit must be very brief.

If it is possible to arrange for a family member to bring Communion to the shut-in, that could be done apart from the restrictions in this protocol.

If a parish is in the red zone, Communion calls should be suspended.

For additional resources and information regarding procedures and protocols during the pandemic, see here.

Stay safe!

Procedures for priests and deacons who travel outside of Massachusetts during COVID-19

From Very Reverend William Joy, Assistant Vicar for Administration and Special Assistant to the Vicar General and Moderator for the Curia, concerning procedures for priests and deacons who travel outside of Massachusetts during COVID-19.

Permanent Diaconate Inquirers Program 2020:  Is Christ Calling You?

God is calling each of us to serve one another in charity and love and Pope Francis speaks to this call constantly.  For some there is a particular invitation to serve Christ and the Church in ordained ministry.  The Permanent Diaconate, restored at Vatican II, is a ministry of service that is open to married and single men.  The deacon's ministry, in the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II, "is the Church's service sacramentalized."

Deacons are ordained to the Ministry of Service in three areas: Word, Sacrament, and Charity.  As a servant to the Word, deacons proclaim the gospel, instruct the faithful, and evangelize by word and deed, as did the great deacons Saint Stephen and Saint Francis.  As a servant of the sacramental life of the church, deacons preside at baptisms, assist at the Eucharist, bring the Eucharist to the sick and suffering, witness marriages, bury the dead, and preside at Benediction.  As a servant of charity, like the great deacon Saint Lawrence, deacons report the needs of the community to the Church and bring its support and assistance to those in need.  The deacon is called to be the "Icon of Christ the Servant" living out the life of charity for the people of God and being an "animator" for all to feed the hungry, visit the sick, and care for one another in our brokenness. 

Because deacons work in the secular world and most are married men with families, they share in the worries and stresses of daily life.  Permanent deacons know well the difficulties of balancing faith, family, and financial security.  Through the deacon living in the world as an ordained minister, the Church knows personally the challenges, demands, fears, and anxieties of the People of God.  By his vocation the deacon bridges work, family, and leisure with the life of the Church.  In fact, by living and working in the secular world, the deacon seeks to model, in his person, the integration of what one believes and how one lives.

If you are discerning God's possible call to serve the Church as a minister of Charity, Word, and Sacrament as an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston, you and your wife are invited to take part in the upcoming Online Inquirer Webinar Program. The program consists of three sessions :

Inquiry Session One: Who is the Deacon? 

This session is offered on two dates for your convenience, please register for only one:

Inquiry Session Two:  Canonical Impediments and Issues

Inquiry Session Three:  Morning of Recollection and Discernment/Application Process

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  Please contact Patricia DeBiase if you have any questions at

May 2019 Mini-Retreat Postponed:

The original mini-retreat scheduled for May 25, 2019 for Senior Deacon Wives and Widows has had to be postponed.

Further information will be forthcoming.

2018 Annual Diaconate Community Convocation

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Permanent Diaconate in the United States, Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Boston Archdiocesan celebration of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the United States.

The day began with a Mass at St. James Church in Stoughton. After the Mass, there was a banquet held at The Lantana in Randolph. There were a number of speakers, including Bishop Mark O'Connell who gave a wonderful keynote. He spoke on the mission of the deacon in our Church today. Cardinal Sean also offered some remarks and gave the final blessing and shared these thoughts:

As I always like to say, when I was a young priest working with the immigrants in Washington, one of my responsibilities was running a diaconate program to train Spanish-speaking permanent deacons. I saw what a wonderful contribution that permanent deacons make in the life of the Church, and I am so pleased that we have such a vibrant program here in the Archdiocese of Boston. We are very pleased that we have been able to expand the diaconate program so that we are now taking in a new class each year. We are, of course, very grateful to Deacon Chris Connelly, our Director of Permanent Diaconate Formation, and Deacon Pat Guerrini, our Director of Diaconal Life and Ministry, for all they do to support this ministry.

We're also so grateful to the wives and families of the deacons, who are crucial to their ministries. It was wonderful to have an opportunity during the dinner to recognize and thank them for their generosity and to celebrate this vocation in the Church, which was restored thanks to Pope Paul VI. Indeed, it was very appropriate that our celebration came just days after the canonization of this holy and wise pope who restored the permanent diaconate to us.

Annual Diaconate Community Memorial Mass

Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM, the Boston Diaconate Community gathered to remember our deceased brothers and sisters who have been called home to the Lord.  It took place in Bethany Chapel, at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

We remembered in a special way those members of the Diaconate Community who died during this past year. 

DEACON WILLIAM J. MC CARTY, '94, who passed to the Lord on October 20, 2017

CLAIRE CAVANAUGH, (wife of Deacon Michael J. Cavanaugh, "00), who passed to the Lord on October 26, 2018

DEACON CYRIL T. O'NEIL, '90, who passed to the Lord on November 14, 2017

DEACON RAYMOND C. WELLBANK, '07, who passed to the Lord on December 9, 2017

DEACON PAUL LEAVITT,  who passed to the Lord on January 18, 2018

DEACON CARLOS SIMON VALENTIN, '14, who passed to the Lord on April 9, 2018

MAUREEN MC LAUGHLIN (widow of Deacon Richard McLaughlin), who passed to the Lord on March 22, 2018

DEACON FRANCIS X. HEFFERNAN, '76, who passed to the Lord on April 21, 2018

DEACON CHARLES M. BUBELLO, "00, who passed to the Lord on May 5, 2018

DEACON DANIEL A. DUNN, '80, who passed to the Lord on June 28, 2018

DEACOIN GUY J. SPIRI, '83, who passed to the Lord on July 6, 2018

DEACON PAUL A. LEWIS, '06, who passed to the Lord on September 29, 2018

ANN D. MCHUGH, (wife of Deacon John W. McHugh, '92) who passed to the Lord on October 2, 2018

All Deacons and wives who died in previous years were also be remembered.  We hope to keep alive the memory of all Deacons and wives of the Archdiocese who have given unselfish service to God and the Church of Boston. 

August 28, 2018 - Class of 2018 Solemn Profession

The Class of 2018 made their solemn professions at Bethany Chapel in anticipation of their ordination to the Diaconate on  September 29.  The public Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity were officially witnessed by Very Reverend Robert M. Blaney, Secretary for Ministerial Personnel.  The candidates and their wives gathered for a festive dinner following the ceremony of Sacred Professions at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

(Photos by Pat DiBiase,  Administrative Assistant to the Office of the Permanent Diaconate Office)

We congratulate the Candidates: Osvaldo Fernandez, David Giangiordano,Robert Horne, Charles Kelley, Julio Sanchez, Francis Sung, James Thompson,Cristino Ynfaante

Inquiry Sessions Fall 2018

If you are single or sacramentally married, and discerning God's possible call to serve the Church
as a minister of Charity, Word, and Sacrament as an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston
you and your wife (for those who are married) are invited to take part in the upcoming Inquirer Program.
The program consists of three meetings: Time is 7-8:30pm unless otherwise noted*

Meeting One: Who is the Deacon and Am I One Who is Called?

Webinar : October 23 • 7-8:30 To Register:
Call Pat DeBiase at 617-779-3645 or Email :

Meeting Two: ApplicationProces s , Canon Law, Formationfromthe WivesPerspective

Meeting Three: HalfDay Discernment Retreat

Those who are interested in the Diaconate are strongly encouraged to attend all three events along with their wives {for those who are married). Please email the Deacon Christopher Connelly at to sign up or to receive more information or call the office at 617-746-5649

The next group to be admitted into formation will begin classes in September 2019 at the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization in Braintree at the Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive.

Our Church is global and multicultural and so we actively seek men for the diaconate from our many cultural communities in the Archdiocese. Academic classes are offered in English, however we are committed to offering support for those for whom English is not the primary language.

The Diaconate Formation Program is four Years in length and is open to single and sacramentally married men who will be between the ages of 35-65 at the time of ordination. If you would like more information please call:
Deacon Christopher Connelly
Director of Diaconate Formation

Intro to New Testament Greek at St. Peter Parish, Cambridge

On Monday evenings 7:00-8:00 PM beginning September 24 and continuing through May 2019, St. Peter's is again offering this introductory course in New Testament Greek. Lift the veil of translations and experience directly the inspired words of the New Testament! We will start with the alphabet and work up to short passages from the Gospels, stressing the sound of the language through reading aloud. No prior experience of Greek is assumed. Those who have finished our course successfully in prior years have been able to go on to our reading courses on the gospels.

The introductory course, taught again by Classical languages instructor Michael O'Brien, will take place in the St. Peter's Parish Center, 100 Concord Avenue, Cambridge. Class size will be capped at 10. There is no charge, and texts/ learning materials will be distributed or are available online. There is plentiful parking (enter by Manassas Ave.) and the location is served by buses 72, 74, 75, and 78. For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Mike O'Brien at, or call at 617-721-9559.

Letters of Good Standing (updated 8/1/2018)

From time to time, Deacons of the Archdiocese of Boston may be requested to assist and/or preach at weddings, baptisms, funerals and other liturgical events outside the Archdiocese of Boston.  In those cases it is required by the bishop of the diocese in which the deacon hopes to minister that a "Letter of Good Standing"  be provided to him or his delegate certifying that the deacon is indeed in good standing within his own (Arch)diocese.

In certain instances, dioceses may also require a "Statement of Suitability for Ministry" which is a certification that the deacon is of good character and reputation and qualified to perform his Diaconal duties in an effective and suitable manner, and that he :

  1. has never been suspended or otherwise canonically disciplined;
  2. has no criminal record, nor had criminal charges brought against him;
  3. has manifested no behavioral problems in the past that would indicate he might deal with minors in an inappropriate manner;
  4. has never been involved in an incident which called into question his fitness or suitability to fulfill the responsibilities and duties of his Diaconal ministry due to alcohol, substance abuse or other causes;
  5. has no other particular mental or physical attribute, condition, and/or other past situation which would adversely affect his performance of Diaconal ministry.

A new procedural system for obtaining these credentials is now in place.  You may start a request for a Letter of Good Standing at:

Requests should be submitted at least two  weeks in advance of the wedding or baptism (funerals will obviously be handled with greater dispatch) so as to allow adequate time for processing.    When approved, you will be sent a copy of the credentials that are forwarded to the diocese and the parish or institution.

If you may have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact
Mary Blake at the Office of Canonical Affairs at  (617) 746-5651, or e-mail  mary_blake@rcab.or

2017 Annual Diaconate Convocation with Cardinal Sean

The 2017 Annual Diaconate Convocation with Cardinal Sean, to be held at St. Elizabeth Parish Center, Milton, MA on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

His Eminence Cardinal Sean expects that all members of the Diaconate Community will participate in this important event.  He will be on hand to greet active deacons and wives, senior deacons and wives, widows, and candidates and wives.

We are grateful to Father Steve Zukas, pastor of Saint Elizabeth Parish for allowing us to host this important event in the life of the Diaconate Community at Saint Elizabeth Church and Parish Center.

Easy access from major highways (Rtes. 93 & 95. Rtes. 3 & 24 )  See parish website for driving directions (   There is plenty of parking and an elevator for the handicapped.  The schedule for the day will be as follows:

9:00 AM                    Registration and coffee

9:30 AM                    Morning Prayer

10:00 AM                 Announcements and Introductions

10:30 AM                 Celebration of Holy Mass and Rite of Candidacy

11:30 AM                 Conversation with Cardinal Sean  (Q & A)

12:00 Noon              Lunch

1:00 PM                    Rev. Msgr. William P. Fay:

                                "The Gift of the Diaconate to the Church"

2:00 PM                    Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart:

                               "Mary's Life as a Disciple:  A Compass for Our Vocation of Service"

2:45 PM                    Closing Prayer and Dismissal

The day will be a wonderful opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones as we grow together in an understanding of our unique call to diaconal discipleship and ministry.  The cost of the convocation is $100.00 for active deacons, which should be  covered by the parish/collaborative to which the deacon is assigned.  The cost for Senior Deacons is $50.00.   Candidates,  Wives and Widows are invited to attend free of charge.


Copyright Archdiocese of Boston Permanent Diaconate Office. All Rights Reserved.