National organization of diaconate directors holds regional meeting in Springfield
Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu
SPRINGFIELD – Deacons and those studying to be deacons, from throughout New England and Albany, N.Y., along with their wives, met on Nov. 3, at the Springfield Marriott for the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD), Region I, Diaconal Assembly.
The day included Morning Prayer, followed by a Region I report by NADD chairman, Deacon Michael Berstene, of Tolland, Conn., and a talk, “Bringing the Hope of Christ To a Wounded World,” by the keynote speaker, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Morneau, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis.
Deacon George Kozach, of St. Patrick Parish in Springfield, said he enjoyed Bishop Morneau’s talk.
“The keynote speaker helped us to realize the importance of laughter in our ministry,” said Deacon Kozach. “He spoke of many life issues, that we are able to relate to in our own lives, and he did it in a way that brought joy to the hearts of the attendees.”
Deacon Leo Coughlin, director of the Diaconate Formation Program for the Diocese of Springfield, agreed that Bishop Morneau’s speech was inspiring.
“I thought the day was great, with Bishop Morneau as the keynote speaker and topping it off with (Springfield) Bishop (Timothy A.) McDonnell celebrating Mass,” said Deacon Coughlin.
The afternoon agenda included two sessions of workshops. The topics were “Rachel’s Vineyard: Healing post abortion trauma”; “Dealing with Addictions”; “Suicide Prevention: the QPR method”; and “Ignation Spirituality: Applied to deacons and wives.”
Deacon Coughlin said, “The deacons voted to have these issues discussed in more details.”
Following the afternoon sessions, the day ended with a closing liturgy held at St. Francis Chapel on Bridge Street. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop McDonnell; Deacons Peter Ryan and Ronald Buron of Worcester, Mass., served at the altar and the homily was preached by Deacon James Walsh of Providence, R.I.
“Have we become so complex,” said Deacon Walsh during his homily, “that we have lost something in that journey? Our specific purpose is to learn more about healing the wounds of Christ and others, to renew our vocations and share with our neighbors the love we have with God and others.”
Following the closing liturgy, Deacon Kozach said he felt it was an overall great day that was well worth attending.
“The conference inspired me to continue my work as a deacon,” he told iobserve.