WINTHROP — Bishop Robert Deeley will celebrate the Rite of Candidacy to the permanent diaconate for 11 men on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church on 130 Route 133 in Winthrop. All are welcome to gather at the Mass.

The rite provides the candidates for the permanent diaconate in Maine with an opportunity to publicly express their intention to offer themselves in sacrifice to God by receiving ordination as a permanent deacon after their continued formation. Permanent deacons are considered a bridge between the hierarchy and the laity, the liturgy and life, and the Church and the world. They are married or celibate men over the age of 35, and the wife of a married man must provide her consent in order for him to enter into the diaconate formation program. 

The diaconal candidates who will participate on Nov. 19 are:

Arturo Ayala (wife Maria) of Yarmouth
Jon Blanchard (wife Hillary) of Presque Isle
Peter Czerwinski (wife Gina) of Readfield
Sean Fidler (wife Melanie) of Bath
Doug Guerrette (wife Louise) of Hampden
Anthony Jolicoeur (wife Brenda) of York
Peter Koch (wife Laurie) of Rumford
Stephen Ritchie (wife Nicole) of Eliot
Richard Roussel (wife Kelly) of Gorham
Adam Stearns (wife Vanessa) of Skowhegan
Timothy Winkeler (wife Tracy) of Falmouth

Deacons are called to serve at the altar, to proclaim the Word of God, and to commit themselves to lives of charity. The word “diaconate” comes from the Greek word “diakonia,” which means “service.” Deacons cannot celebrate Mass, offer the sacrament of reconciliation, or perform the anointing of the sick, but they may officiate at baptisms, bless marriages, and conduct funeral services outside of Mass.

For more information about vocations in the Church, visit the Diocese of Portland’s Vocations page at www.portlanddiocese.org/vocations.