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The Deacon's Bench

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It happened in Albany, and made some history.

From the Albany Times-Union:

Four area men had the distinction Saturday of being ordained deacons of the Catholic Church in the first celebration held in the newly restored Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The colorful Ordination to the Diaconate was celebrated by Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese at the cathedral on Eagle Street, the oldest cathedral in the state and third oldest in the country.

Two of the four men — James Michael Taylor of Albany and Jay J.B. Atherton of Northville — were ordained as transitional deacons and will continue on with their studies for the priesthood.

Ordained as permanent deacons were Walter C. Ayres of Glenmont, director of communications for the state Commission on Public Integrity, and Paul Francis Kisselback of Cohoes, a trust manager with Trustco Bank.

As deacons, the men will assist at Masses, and many officiate at weddings, baptisms and funerals.

“They will proclaim the Gospel and may be given permission to preach,” according to the diocese. “They will bless objects and persons within liturgical celebrations.”

The lifelong commitment of the deacons and the responsibility the designation carries comes after at least three years of intensive training and their formal dedication to the church.

Under the guidelines of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be ordained a permanent deacon, a man must be at least 35 years old. He may be married or unmarried, but if single or widowed, he must observe celibacy. Ayres, 60, and Kisselback, 45, are both married.

There’s more at the Times-Union link.

Congratulations! Ad multos annos!

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