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A simple call, a grand vocation

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Bishop Michael W. Fisher blesses Deacon William Broderick Jr. during the Ordination of Deacons Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral. Photo by Dan Cappellazzo

It started with a simple question. “Have you ever considered becoming a deacon?”

When an already active permanent deacon asked William Broderick Jr. to consider joining the diaconate, he did so with an open heart and an open mind.

“He convinced me to give it a try and discern,” he said. “I went in for the first year and said it was what I was meant to do, so I stayed.”

The just ordained Deacon Broderick can’t describe what others may feel when called to holy orders or what form that call may take, but he says it starts with being open to the idea of offering your life to the service of God’s people.

 “You just have to start paying attention to the suggestion. If you’re listening, you will either get an affirmation or you’re not,” he said.

Serving his home parish of St. Vincent de Paul in Springbrook, the 58-year-old attorney already had a role similar to that of a deacon. He distributes Communion and assists his pastor in various ministries of the parish. Now ordained, he is able to baptize, witness marriages, preside at funerals, and preach at Mass. Interestingly, it’s the ability to serve at the altar that he is least looking forward to. He would rather sit back and absorb the whole glory of the celebration rather than focusing on his specific role during the liturgy.

“When you’re (serving at) the Mass, you’re paying attention to what you’re doing and what everyone else is doing and making sure that things aren’t going to go awry. You’re not paying attention to the Mass so much,” Deacon Broderick explained. “It’ll be nice to do baptisms, to bring people back to the Church. I will be privileged to do funerals, although it’s not something you look forward to.”

All permanent deacons receive a parish ministry and a ministry of charity at ordination. Deacon Broderick will continue to serve at St. Vincent’s while also serving at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy in Buffalo.

Just as his simple as his call was, so is his goal.  

“To serve the best I can in whatever the bishop has me doing,” he said. “I’m here to help anything that helps the church move forward. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us because of everything that is going on and has gone on. (I hope to) bring people who have strayed away back into the Church and help them reconcile what’s gone on with how they view the Church.”

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