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Deacon Connelly appointed director of permanent diaconate formation


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BRAINTREE -- Bishop Peter J. Uglietto, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Boston, announced the appointment of Deacon Christopher Z. Connelly as Director of Permanent Diaconate Formation for the Archdiocese of Boston March 29.

Currently the Academic Dean at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River, he begins his new duties immediately and will be assisted by Msgr. William P. Fay, Director of Campus Ministry and Interim Director of the Permanent Diaconate, through the end of May.

"We are grateful for Deacon Connelly's desire to join the Archdiocese in this important role," said Bishop Uglietto. "His many talents, experiences and inspirational example of fidelity to Christ will serve him well as he prepares to undertake the work ahead. We are blessed that he has responded wholeheartedly to the invitation to guide future aspirants and candidates in their vocation discernment."

In accepting the position, Deacon Connelly said, "I became a deacon to walk with others to Christ. My ministry has been focused on leading, joining, encouraging and serving others along the journey to Jesus Christ. I am privileged to continue this journey with the prayers and support of Cardinal Seán, Bishop Uglietto and my fellow deacons. I am grateful for the support and fellowship of Msgr. Fay and I welcome the opportunity to join the archdiocese at this exciting time in the life of the Church."

A resident of East Bridgewater, Deacon Connelly was ordained to the Order of Deacon in September 2011. Since his ordination, he has been assigned to the Tri-Parish Collaborative in Brockton which includes the parishes of St. Edith Stein, Christ the King and Our Lady of Lourdes.

He re-joined Bishop Connolly High School in 2014, where he had been a teacher, religion department chair, campus minister and track and field coach from 1997-2003. From 2003-2014 he was a teacher and religion department chair as well as track and junior high golf coach at Sacred Heart School in Kingston. He began his career as a teacher at The Prout School in Wakefield, R.I. in 1995.

Msgr. Fay said, "Deacon Connelly's faith-filled devotion to Christ and the Church is a blessing for the archdiocese. He brings extensive experience, commitment and joy to the diaconate. We pray that the Holy Spirit, through the work of Deacon Connelly, inspires others to follow the call to walk in the footsteps of Christ."

In his new role, Deacon Connelly will supervise the recruitment, evaluation, selection, and first assignment of inquirers, aspirants, and candidates. He will be responsible for presenting to the archbishop the recommendation on suitability of aspirants and candidates to the permanent diaconate. He will also oversee and administer the full program of formation to the permanent diaconate according to the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Among his other responsibilities will be the selection of faculty, as well as to develop and oversee the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral studies for the diaconate program, with attention to the needs of the Spanish-speaking candidates. Curriculum, faith formation and ensuring that all faculty, staff and candidates are properly oriented to and committed to the Pastoral Plan of the archdiocese, Disciples in Mission, will be an essential responsibility.

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