Bishop McManus is reinstating the permanent diaconate formation program with a new class to start in 2014, according to Deacon Anthony R. Surozenski, director of the Office of the Diaconate.
Deacon Surozenski made this announcement this week, as three men prepare for ordination as permanent deacons.
Bishop McManus is to ordain them and a transitional deacon at 10 a.m. June 1 at St. Paul Cathedral.
To be ordained permanent deacons are William A. Bilow Jr., of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster; William Gerard Ferrarone, of St. Thomas-a-Becket Parish in Barre, and John F. LeDoux, of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester.
James M. Boland, of St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough, is to be ordained a transitional deacon, in preparation for priesthood.
Speaking of the permanent diaconate, Deacon Surozenski said, “The reason for reinstating the program is that we have needs throughout the diocese for deacons.”
He said nine different pastors have requested deacons. Father Peter R. Precourt, an Augustinian of the Assumption who is pastor of St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge, has three deacons and has requested a total of five, because his parish is growing and there is a lot of work, Deacon Surozenski said.
Two years ago Deacon Surozenski announced that the Diocese had stopped accepting men into the program, at least temporarily, to assess whether more deacons would be needed and whether assignments and funding would be available for them.
“We did not have a place to put everybody,” he said this week.
The situation has changed because of retirements and transfers of deacons and priests, and the merging of parishes, he said.
“We would like to see deacons involved in more other types of ministry” besides liturgical ministry, such as at prisons and in outreach ministries, where some now serve, and truck stops, where none from the Diocese serve, Deacon Surozenski said.
He said he has had several telephone calls from people interested in becoming deacons, and that at least one informational night is to be held this fall.
Currently 12 men are finishing their studies in the five-year program and will be ordained in 2014 and 2015, said Deacon Peter Ryan, assistant director of formation for the diaconate office. Those entering the program in 2014 would likely be ordained in 2019, perhaps 2018 if special circumstances called for it.
There are currently 90 permanent deacons serving in the diocese, according to the diaconate office. Deacon Ryan said that last year he put together a projection for Bishop McManus for the next five years. By 2017, he projected that there will be 122 priests and 85 deacons actively serving in the diocese.
“We are also looking into the possibility of having some online courses to use with the academic portion,” for men who can’t attend certain classes because of their work, Deacon Surozenski said. He said this might be worked out through the program’s affiliation with Anna Maria College, which can allow students to earn credits from other colleges.
Biographies of the men being ordained June 1 follow:
• William A. Bilow Jr., son of Mary E. Bilow and the late William A. Bilow Sr., was born Nov. 21, 1961 in Clinton, and now lives in Lancaster.
He attended Lancaster Middle School, Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton and Assumption College, receiving his bachelor’s degree with a double major in mathematics and foreign languages, in 1983.
He is vice president for Enterprise Program Services for Hanover Insurance in Worcester.
Mr. Bilow is not married, so he is to take the promise of celibacy at the ordination.
His Mass of Thanksgiving is at 8 a.m. June 2 at Immaculate Conception, Lancaster, with the pastor, Father Edward P. Lettic, presiding and Deacon Robert S. Connor Jr., who serves there, assisting. A public reception is to follow in the church hall.
• William Gerard Ferrarone, son of the late Edward Joseph and Eleanor (Mullane) Ferrarone, was born April 2, 1956 in Springfield, and now lives in Barre.
He attended Holy Cross School and Classical High School, both in Springfield. He got his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the College of the Holy Cross in 1978, his master’s in social work from Simmons College in Boston in 1983, and a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, now called Alliant International University.
He is a clinical psychologist at UMass Memorial Medical Center and an associate faculty member of UMass Medical School, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He also works at the Barre Family Health Center for UMass Memorial.
He and his wife, Karen Scharfenberg-Ferrarone, have three children: Joseph, 15, Peter, 27, and Nora Quattrocelli, 25.
A public reception is to follow the ordination at the Ferrarones’ home.
His Mass of Thanksgiving is at 8:30 a.m. June 9 at St. Thomas-a-Becket, Barre, with Father Michael N. Lavallee, pastor, presiding. Expected to concelebrate are: former pastor Father Ernest P. Allega, now pastor of St. Denis Parish in Douglas; Msgr. Edmond T. Tinsley, assisting priest at St. John Parish in Worcester, and Father Richard A. Jakubauskas, associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish and St. Peter Parish and St. Andrew the Apostle Mission, in Worcester. His classmate Deacon LeDoux is to assist. A public reception follows the Mass in the church hall.
• John Francis Domenic LeDoux of Worcester was born Feb. 13, 1955.
He attended Clark Street Elementary School, Greendale Elementary School and Burncoat High School, all in Worcester, and Boston University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in pastoral ministry at Anna Maria College.
He has been a liturgical musician in the Worcester Diocese for 32 years. He was director of music at Ascension Parish in Worcester, now closed, for five years. He has written, arranged and produced three albums of liturgical music.
He previously worked for United Parcel Service, the United States Postal Service and Father Ralph DiOrio’s Apostolate for Healing.
His wife, Allison LeDoux, is director of the Worcester Diocesan Respect Life and Marriage and Family Offices.
They have eight children: Melanie Elizabeth, 27; Judith Mary, 25; Kimberly Faith, 24; Theresa Rose, 21; Deborah Hope, 20; Meredith Charity, 18; John Francis Jr., 15 and Maria Grace, 13.
His Mass of Thanksgiving is at 11:45 a.m. June 2 at St. Stephen’s, Worcester, with the pastor, Father H. Edward Chalmers, presiding. A public reception follows in the parish hall.
• James M. Boland, son of Thomas and Virginia (Cole) Boland, was born Dec. 25, 1985 in Framingham.
He attended Peaslee Elementary School, Northborough Middle School (now Melican Middle School) and Algonquin Regional High School, all in Northborough, and Springfield College, where he got a bachelor’s degree in athletic training.
He is studying for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. His summer assignments have been at St. Paul Cathedral Parish in Worcester, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, The Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester.
His Mass of Thanksgiving is at 5 p.m. June 1 at St. Bernadette’s, Northborough, with the pastor, Father Stephen M. Gemme, presiding.