Category Archives: Ministry


In the “Moment”

Mark_MomentOur rollout of the @deaconspeaking Twitter Team account in the diocese has been proceeding smoothly. We have received good recognition: retweets, likes and profile visits by many Twitter users.  Each day we explore new features:  Lists, Hastags, Tweet Requotes.

One of the best features has been the Twitter Moments… an opportunity to combine related tweets into a single tweet that pulls a strand of thoughts together. Two in particular, “Celebrating St. Mark” and “Trust in God” have enabled many more users to interact with our evangelization message.

Why? For one, the “Moments” package can be visually compelling, as with this painting of the Apostle Mark that was an element of a requoted tweet. Most of all, by combining two our three related tweets together, we have the opportunity to present a message that really communicates a point. And that’s often a challenge to accomplish in 140 characters!

Check them out for yourself and let us know what you think!

Celebrating St. Mark:

Trust in God:

The Perfect Prayer

Many years ago, while still a member of the laity (in fact, the diaconate wasn’t even on my radar), I had settled into my pew a few minutes early before Mass, finished a brief prayer, then read the readings for the day in the missal. As I turned the missal over to set it on the pew, the prayers on the back cover caught my attention.

Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.

I was familiar with many of them, but this day, a prayer I’d never noticed popped out at me:  The Dedication to Jesus. As I read the prayer, I felt it resonate deep within my heart… these words spoke to me in a way that no prayer ever had. When I’d finished reading, I noticed the attribution to St. Ignatius of Loyola.

I took the missal home, memorized it over a period of a few months; it became my “go-to” prayer. A short, meaningful rededication of my faith and trust in Jesus.

Ignatian spirituality has become a central theme in my prayer life since then. I was content… at peace in my acceptance of Christ the King. And then Sr. Faustina crossed my path. She hadn’t been canonized… her cause was certainly an active one, but I’d never encountered The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. And, as you might expect, one aspect of the Chaplet clung to my heart just as tenaciously as the Ignatian Dedication:  The Our Father bead prayer… coupled with the 10th Hail Mary bead prayer.

For me, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, I am thankful for this prayer which has a singular place for me outside of the Chaplet:  just before the reception of the Holy Eucharist, I offer all that Jesus is giving to me in His Holy Body & Blood to our Heavenly Father. It centers me… provides me with a powerful focus for reception of the sacrament. Most of all, year-round, I commemorate His Passion for salvation of the whole world.

Mercy… Yes!

Using Our Legs, Lungs & Hearts to Follow Christ’s Way

Rise Up Be Strong Information

The Annual Youth Bike Tour sponsored by St. Stephen – St. Patrick Church does far more than just bring together youth and adults on bicycles for 5 days of touring the roads and trails of various parts of our diocese, it involves like-minded Catholic Christian adults and young people on a theme-inspired adventure that focuses on living in Jesus’ light, knowing His truth and following His way.

This year’s venue will be the Southern Tier around the Owego area. As in the past, youth 14 years or older can participate. Complete information is now being distributed by email, Facebook, the Diocesan Events Calendar and more.

Dates:  Tuesday Evening, August 4 – Sunday, August 9, 2015

Contact David Wells, YBT Coordinator at for more information.

Rise Up & Be Strong: Take II

NX_racing_bike_rear view_crossThe 19th Annual 2015 Youth Bike Tour sponsored by the Catholic Community of St. Stephens & St. Patrick’s Churches will be stronger than ever this summer, thanks to growing participation from the Catholic communities in Chenango County as well.

Borrowing a portion of the theme from this year’s Ignite 2015, youth cyclists age 14 and older will be pedaling the country roads and trails of the NYS Southern Tier…Owego, Candor and Endicott… “Rise Up & Be Strong:  All in His name and for His glory!”

According to Youth Bike Tour coordinator, David Wells, the tour will feature 5 days and 4 nights of:

  • Adventure & fun,
  • Hiking and biking in nature,
  • Service to communities and individuals around us,
  • Great food and campfires,
  • Christian music and companionship with new friends and past

Mark Your Calendar:

WHEN:   Tuesday Evening, Aug. 4 through Sunday Afternoon, Aug. 9, 2015

CONTACT:  David Wells, Email –

Pass this information along to your DRE, Youth Ministers and other interested parties. Past tours have enjoyed the participation of as many as 50 youth and adult volunteers. We call it, “Evangelization On Wheels”!

Flash Prayer? YES!

The first use of the phrase “Flash Crowd” was coined by John Pettit of in 1996 and built on concepts from Larry


Copyright Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities

Niven, Sci-Fi writer, who in his 1970 writings proposed that large, spontaneous crowds could disrupt transportation, etc. Of course, this truly precedes the Internet as we know it, where “Flash Crowds” are creating in a matter of minutes by tweets, FB posts, etc.

A great deal has changed since then, and the “internet of all things” has become the transport mechanism for bringing people from around the globe for shared purposes. And tomorrow is just one of those “shared purposes”:

Yes, tomorrow, people world wide will pray to Saint Marianne Cope. “our” saint, a woman who devoted her life to those with leprosy in the Pacific. Please join us tomorrow in prayer.

A special thanks to Danielle Cummings, Chancellor/Director of Communications, Diocese of Syracuse for the this information celebrating the Feast of Saint Marianne Cope.


Demystifying the Deacon

As a “new” clerical office, the Diaconate will confound the laity for years to come. And while deacons can look back with much pride to our “call to service” in Acts 6, many parishioners look to the law of the Church when searching for explanations about the role of deacons… what they can and can’t do.


Canon 764 on “deacons and preaching”

The Deacons’ Place Forum recently shared a helpful link about the deacon’s role according to Canon Law. The link to What Can (and Can’t ) a Deacon Do? is from the Canon Law Made Easy blog, written by Cathy Caridi, J.C.I. an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome.

You might find this helpful in discussions with those still unfamiliar with our Diakonos… our call to charity among God’s people. In the end, only our humble example of service will truly tell the story.

What Can (and Can’t ) a Deacon Do?: