Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge ordained three men to the Transitional Diaconate in a Rite of Ordination of a Deacon, celebrated at Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst on April 14, 2012. Ordained were Rev. Mr. Nicholas Cottrill, Rev. Mr. Tom Duggan and Rev. Mr. Ryan Elder. The three Deacons are completing their Third Year Theology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and are scheduled for ordination to the Priesthood in 2013.
Deacon Cottrill was born in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Akron with a BS in Accounting. He moved to Raleigh in 1995 and became active in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Raleigh, where he served as the Charter Grand Knight of the parish’s Knights of Columbus. In an article in the April 2012 issue of the NC Catholics, Deacon Cottrill told of his response to God’s call, which occurred while on a mountain in Quite, Ecuador. He wrote of how he felt the call for 15 years and answered it during Holy Week in 2006 while admiring the Lord’s magnificence in His Creation.
Deacon Duggan transferred to the Diocese of Raleigh from the formation program in the Diocese of Cleveland in 2010. He received a BA in English from Hillsdale College and a MA in English from Oakland University. Prior to entering the seminary, he worked as a technical writer. In the NC Catholics article, Deacon Duggan said his inspiration for the Priesthood came from Pope John Paul II, his parents and holy priests he has met.
Deacon Elder was also born in Ohio, but his family moved when he was a young child. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with a BA degree and then studied at the University of Sheffield in England. As a student at UNC, Deacon Elder was active at the Newman Center, attending daily Mass. He applied to the Diocese of Raleigh following his graduation in 2007.
In noting how blessed the Diocese is with the ordination of the three Deacons, Bishop Burbidge said their acceptance of God’s invitation is reflected in one of the day’s Readings, “The Letter from the Acts of the Apostles recounts the calling of ordinary men to speak about the Risen Lord. While they are gifted individuals, Nick, Tom and Ryan would be the first to tell you that they too are ordinary men called by the Lord to do something extraordinary in service to His Church. It is the Lord who has chosen them!”
Bishop Burbidge spoke of the deacon’s role in carrying the Easter candle at the Easter Vigil, whose role it was to proclaim the Light of Christ. “The deacon, through the graces of Ordination, is to make that proclamation each and every day.
In imitation of Jesus, who offered the ultimate sacrifice,” Bishop Burbidge continued, “you promise today to offer sacrificial and selfless service to the Lord and His Church. The Ordination Rite reminds you that you are “heralds of the Gospel.” Be on fire with the Word of God! Like Peter and John and the other disciples, proclaim the Gospel with boldness and in all its richness and help others to see the Truth of the Gospel as that which sets them free.”
Following the homily, the Rite of Ordination continued with the three Candidates resolving to:
Be consecrated for the Church’s ministry by the laying on of the Bishop’s hands and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
To discharge the Office of Deacon with humble charity in order to assist the priestly Order and to benefit the Christian people.
To hold fast to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience, as the Apostle urges, and to proclaim this faith in word and deed according to the Gospel and the Church’s tradition.
To maintain and deepen the spirit of prayer that is proper to your way of life and to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours with and for the People of God and the whole world.
Each Candidate then proceeded to kneel before the Bishop, placing his hands between those of the Bishop, and made a promise of obedience to the Bishop and his successors. That was followed by each of the Elect prostrating himself as the Litany of Saints was sung.
The Rite continued with the Laying on of Hands and the Prayer of Ordination. The men, now Ordained Deacons, were invested with the stole and dalmatic, the vestments which signify their ministerial role in the Celebration of the Eucharist. The Deacons then knelt before the Bishop to receive the Book of Gospels.
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Above: Mr. Nicholas Cottrill, Mr. Ryan Elder and Mr. Tom Duggan during the Presentation of the Candidates at the beginning of the Rite of Ordination of a Deacon. (Click photo to view larger.)
Above: The three Deacon Candidates during the Litany of Supplication which asks for the intercession of the Saints in order that God may look favorably upon those to be ordained. (Click photo to view larger.)
Above: Bishop Burbidge with Deacon Duggan, Deacon Elder and Deacon Cottrill following the Rite of Ordination. (Click photo to view larger.)
Photographs by Paul Tomas