Today, The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, archbishop of Saint Louis, ordained two Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis to the Order of Deacon. Brothers Francis Hein and Cassian Koeneman received this sacrament of order at the request of Abbot Thomas Frerking. May God them many years of faithful service!
The archbishop ordained these men to the Order of Deacon and next year, Deo volente, he will ordain them to the Order of Priest.
Brother Francis has been at the Dominican House of Studies (Washington, DC) and Brother Cassian has been at Rome’s Angelicum.
What does the Church teach about deacons? The Catechism answers:
Deacons share in Christ’s
mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them
with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and
which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or
servant of all. Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the
bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the
Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing
marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over
funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.
Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin
Church has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the
hierarchy,” while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This
permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an
important enrichment for the Church’s mission. Indeed it is appropriate and
useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether
in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable
works, should “be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come
down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the altar and their
ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the
diaconate.” (CCC 1570-71).