Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

In Service of a Bishop

Deacons are ordained to be a Bishop’s “eyes and ears” within the particular church. While a priest is tied to an altar, a Deacon is tied to a diocese and in a special way, his Bishop and all his successors.

As an individual who is a huge fan of Cardinal Newman and a candidate for diaconal ordination in January 2011, the following story caught my attention. Here we have a Deacon still serving a Bishop – even in death.

Healed Deacon to Assist at Newman Beatification

BIRMINGHAM, England ( – The deacon who was miraculously healed thanks to the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman will serve at the papal Mass when the cardinal is beatified.

Deacon Jack Sullivan of the Archdiocese of Boston was healed of a spinal disorder after he asked for Cardinal Newman’s intercession.

At Benedict XVI’s Mass in Birmingham on Sept. 19 for the English cardinal’s beatification, Deacon Sullivan will proclaim the Gospel and serve the Mass as deacon.

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham told the Catholic Herald that recognizing Cardinal Newman’s intercession will be at the heart of the beatification.

“We can speak about prayer to the saints as part of the life of the Church,” he said. “We feel a closeness to those who are part of the communion of the saints.”

The archbishop noted that he recently met Deacon Sullivan, and will be hosting the deacon, his wife and members of their family as his personal guests.

Archbishop Longley also suggested that the beatification is one of the main reasons Benedict XVI decided to travel to the United Kingdom.

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