2020 DIACONATE PROGRAM FLOURISHES ONLINE
Devout men from all over the country have gathered on HCHC’s campus every summer since 2005 for the Diaconate Program–until this summer, when the COVID pandemic made that impossible. However, the reimagined online version actually drew a record number of 42 participants and proved to be a richly rewarding experience for all.
The program is under the direction of the Holy Eparchial Synod and is intended to provide parishes with trained deacons who can assist with the liturgical and pastoral needs of those communities. Dr. James Skedros, Michael G. and Anastasia Cantonis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Professor of Early Christianity at Holy Cross, serves as Program Coordinator, while Rev. Dn. Sal Fazio serves as Director of Outreach.
In summers past, the program has brought candidates for the diaconate to campus for a nine-day session three years in a row during which they study theology and learn liturgical rubrics for the Sacraments from Holy Cross faculty, hear guest speakers, and enjoy fellowship. They also benefit from the wisdom and experience of clergy mentors. Despite the challenges of going online, all of these elements were in place this year too–and over a much longer period, beginning on May 30 with a virtual welcome barbecue and ending on September1 with the completion of regional group gatherings in each Metropolis.
Learn more about the program in this report by Dn. Sal here.