Archbishop says deacons are heralds of Good News

Following a keynote presentation by Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre April 10, Elisabeth Quail chatted with her husband Deacon Davin Quail, left, and Deacon Steve Pitre of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Canada. They attended the National Association of Diaconate Directors convention which took place April 9-11 at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre celebrated Mass the evening of April 9 at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville, for deacons and their wives who were part of the National Association of Diaconate Directors convention.

The convention took place April 9-11 at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville and drew close to 80 diaconate directors from across the U.S. and Canada. The gathering also heard from the archbishop April 10 when he delivered a keynote address. 

Archbishop Fabre welcomed them and in his homily told them they were to be “heralds”  of the good news of Jesus Christ’s victory over death and sin.

Speaking to the deacons, he said, “For us as ordained ministers, we are entrusted with the ministry of proclaiming this truth: Christ is risen from the dead. …. He is victor over sin and death. Our role, simply put, is to be a witness. We are to be close friends of Jesus … and strengthened by his friendship and emboldened by his presence, we are to share the news of his love with the entire world. We are to be heralds of the good news.”

Archbishop Fabre said that the phrase “heralds of the good news” should remind them of a “powerful gesture” that happened during their ordination: being presented with the Book of the Gospels. 

Deacons and their wives, including Deacon Ron Chavez and his wife Rosie Chavez, far right, from the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, stood and clapped following a keynote address by Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre April 10. The deacons attended the National Association of Diaconate Directors convention which took place April 9-11 at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

“As heralds of the good news, the Gospel of Christ, we were commissioned to direct our lives toward believing the faith, teaching the faith and also practicing what we believe and teach about heavenly things,” he said. “Jesus has entrusted to us the task of teaching about heavenly things, about the good news that he came to proclaim.”

Archbishop Fabre went on to tell his listeners that being heralds of good news isn’t an easy task.

He said it requires a “death to self and a rising in the power of Jesus Christ.”

“Recall some of the experiences of those whose lives are told in the Scripture. Recall the sorrow of Mary Magdalene, the fear of Peter and John, the confusion of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the doubt of Thomas in the Upper Room,” said the archbishop. Each of these followers of Christ had to die to themselves but the power of the resurrection transformed their lives.

“It is this transformation in ordination which has occurred in you, dear brothers. The Lord has called you, two thousand years after his resurrection, to be his heralds, his witnesses. Never allow fear or doubt to take hold of your hearts. Never question what the Lord can do in your ministry and through your preaching and your works,” he said.

The National Association of Diaconate Directors offers a range of resources for the formation, ministry and life of Catholic deacons, including the annual convention, according to its website.   

The convention included a host of workshops and presentations.

Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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