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Permanent Diaconate

Items of Interest

A Prayer for Father's Day

God and Father of all Creation,

We give you thanks for the fathers and father figures in our lives, those who act in the world as fathers to their children or models of fathers for others; who mentor and guide us with the heart of a father.

We pray for new fathers, newly embracing their vocation; may they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice. We pry for fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering; may they know that the god of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.

We give thanks for the spiritual fahters, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers who arre no longer with us, but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love.

St. Joseph, patron of fathers and family life, pray for us. Amen

The Class of 2002 Celebrates 20th Anniversary!
Deacons of the Class of 2002 and their wives gathered at Saint Stephen's Roman Catholic Church, Kearny, where Auxiliary Bishop Gregory J. Studerus offered Mass. Thirteen deacons were in attendance, along with the following clergy:

  • Very Reverend Joseph A. Mancini, VF, pastor of St. Stephen's;

  • Reverend Monsignor Joseph R. Chapel, Director of Selection and Formation;

  • Reverend Victor Kennedy.

​Deacon Earl White gave the homily.
Seven deceased classmates were remembered in the Universal Prayer.

Afterward, everyone gathered at Centanni's Ristorante, Kearny, for a sumptuous meal and a sharing of pivotal moments in their tenure.


Deacon Harold L. Bates Enters Eternal Life

Deacon Harold L. Bates, Jr., of New Milford, passed away peacefully with his family at his side. He was born in New York City on July 19, 1930, the oldest of three sons to Harold and Savina (Sally) Bates.
Harold grew up in the Bronx, attending Cardinal Hayes High School and Fordham University. He ran track in both high school and college, later coaching his own children in the sport. Harold was blessed with a good sense of humor, which came in handy. One time as a teenager he arrived late at home. When he went to open the apartment door, he heard his father on the other side growling, “Is that you, Harold?” Harold responded, “If it’s not, we’re both in trouble.” He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War (1952-1954), as a chaplain’s assistant. Thereafter he worked at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, where he retired as a Claims Manager at the age of 61.
Harold’s first loves were God and family. Harold proudly served as a Roman Catholic Deacon at Ascension Church in New Milford. He loved preaching and being a minister of the church.
Harold and Millie met on a blind date, and were married for 65 years. Throughout their marriage he called his wife, “Mi Vida”, which means “my life” in Spanish. In addition to his devoted wife, Harold is survived by his daughter Mary Bates and John Pucci, his daughter Margaret Masterson and Dr. Raymond Masterson, his daughter Kathi McKenna and Robert McKenna, his daughter Cristina Bates-Mott and William Mott, his son John Bates and Danielle Bates, his son Eddie Bates and Karin Bates, his brother Dennis Bates, his 12 grandchildren and 3 great- grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brother Theodore Bates and his beloved granddaughter Heather Bates.
Harold was a man of many talents and interests. He enjoyed reading, listening to music, and watching old movies. He loved to write, and had many a poem and letter published in the local newspapers. In his retirement years he was an enthusiastic member of the Bergen County Players and Teaneck New Theater, performing in many productions on stage and radio, including 1776, My Favorite Wife, Fools, The Most Happy Fella, The Fantasticks, 12 Angry Jurors, The Mouse That Roared, and It’s a Wonderful Life (in which he played Joseph, superintendent of angels!).

Have you seen "The Deacon?"

Since its rebirth at the Second Vatican Council, the diaconate has had a profound effect on the Church. The ministry composed of mostly married men has enhanced the liturgy, eased the pressure demanded of the priest, improved communication between the lay faithful and the clergy and helped educate the parish on matters of service to others and prayer by filling the roles of mentor, a welcoming ear and a true servant of the people of the Church.

The deacon, “servant,” is an ordained assistant to priests responsible for such ministerial duties as preaching, baptizing, witnessing marriages, distributing Communion, preaching and, at times, presiding at funerals. The deacon often has many duties in the parish away from the altar. These include the training of servers and other liturgical ministers; sacramental preparation classes for marriage and baptism; sometimes running the RCIA program or teaching the parish school religion classes.

All of this service didn’t happen by accident. The diaconate formation programs have, for the most part, over the years, improved by leaps and bounds. The National Directory for the Life of Permanent Deacons requires continuing education for deacons. Since 1975, no organization has filled that role better than the National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education, NDICE for short. The sole mission of NDICE is to promote the continuing education of deacons.

Check out their website:

Seen on LinkedIn. Funny, Yet Profound

When Billy Graham was 92 years-old, he was struggling with Parkinson's disease. In January, a month before his 93rd birthday, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham to a luncheon in his honor.

Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because of his struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, 'We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.' So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the podium, looked at the crowd, and said:

"I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train, when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets.

It wasn't there.He looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.

"The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.” Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car,he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

"The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one.'Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going."

Having said that Billy Graham continued, "See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My children, and my grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm wearing. I want you to remember this:

"I not only know who I am. I also know where I'm going." May your troubles be less, your blessings more, and may nothing but happiness, come through your door. "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

May each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don't have to worry about where we are going.

Prayer for Deacons

We praise you, Father, Creator of all things,
Who teaches us how to love and
Who guides us on our journey of service.

Have mercy on us, forgive us our failings, and
Show us the way to be faithful servants.

We thank you for our families
and the faith communities who support us,
and we ask You to bless and watch over them.

Give us the grace to open our minds and hearts
as we grow in wisdom, faith and love of You
and Your Word.

Send down Your Spirit, Lord, to sustain us
as we accept Your call to be Heralds of Your Word,
servants at Your Table and Ministers of charity
to Your people.

With the intercession of Blessed Mary, Mother of God, St. John the Baptist,
who inspires us to be Your voice, and all Your saintly deacons.

We pray in the name of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior,
In union with the Holy Spirit.


Composed by Deacon candidates of the Diocese of Sprinfield, MA.

Online Liturgy of the Hours

A website has the apprioved English version (ICEL 1976) of the Liturgy of the Hours available online. It is quite comprehesive with: Invitatiory Psalm, Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer, as well as hymns! It gives page numbers for both the four-volume and single volume versions. A podcast is also available so you can listen if reading is inconvenient. An excellent resource anytime, but especially when traveling with your smartphone or laptop. The URL is

Procedure for Ministering Outside of the Archdiocese

Click HERE for the latest guidelines.

The memorandum dated May 8, 2013 from Deacon McKenna has been incorporated into the Deacon Manual at the end of the last Appendix. See "Handbook for Permanent Deacons" in "Archives" at the right for details.

The Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Newark

Some general information about the Permanent Diaconate can be found HERE.

It has been more than fifty years since the restoration of the Permanent Diaconate (Diaconatus Ordinem) in 1967, and forty-six years since the ordination of the first class of permanent deacons in 1975. At that time 77 men were ordained by Archbishop Gerety, considerably reduced from 200 who had applied and the 144 who began the probationary period. Since that time, the permanent diaconate program in Newark has seen many changes as both the theology and the praxis of the diaconate has developed and evolved under the influence of experience and guidance of the Holy Spirit. As in almost all areas of the world where the permanent diaconate has taken root, it has grown and generally has exceeded expectations, not only in the numbers of men called to this ordained ministry, but in the quality of its witness "as icons of Christ the servant." A listing of significant events in the history of the permanent diaconate in Newark is given in Appendix A from the booklet "A History of 25 Years of Service" presented at the Annual Assembly of Deacons in the Jubilee Year 2000.

Pax et Bonum

Madonna Murillo

From the Directory for Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons, Congregation for the Clergy, n. 57, we are given this exhortation: "Love for Christ and for His Church is profoundly linked to love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, handmaid of the Lord. With her unique title of Mother, she was the selfless helper of her divine Son's diaconia (cf. John 19:25-27). Love of the Mother of God, based on faith and expressed in daily recitation of the rosary, imitation of her virtues and trust in her, are indeed signs of authentic filial devotion. With deep veneration and affection Mary looks on every deacon....This love of the Virgin Mary, handmaid of the Lord, which is born and rooted in the word, will cause deacons to imitate her life. In this way a Marian dimension is introduced into the Church which is very close to the vocation of the deacon.


Director of Selection and Formation

Msgr. Joseph R. Chapel

Director of Deacon Personnel

Deacon John J. McKenna

Associate Directors
Joseph Yandoli No Photo Available

Deacon Joseph Yandoli Deacon James Tobin

Continuing Education

Deacon Andrew Saunders

Council of Permanent Deacons
Executive Committee

President Vice President Secretary
Deacon Michael York Deacon Walter Wiggins Deacon Steve Lipski

County Representatives

Deacon Andrew Golden          Deacon Andrew Zucaro


Deacon Emeruwa Anyanwu      Deacon Walter Wiggins

         Deaon Steve Lipski            Deacon Michael Missaggia

Deacon David Farrell            Deacon Michael York


Deacon Jorg Montalvo            Deacon Pedro Herrera


Deacon Ed Campanella

For information about the diaconate program in the Archdiocese of Newark, or questions about the diaconate in general, email us at john.mckenna@rcan.orgi.

Contact Us

Comments and suggestions about the website may be directed to the webmaster, Deacon Bob Gurske at

For information about the diaconate program in the Archdiocese of Newark, or questions about the diaconate in general, email us at