Maura Baker, Staff Writer
A congregation of family and friends gathered at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Oct. 15, for the ordination of Deacon Thomas (Tom) John Murrin to the Order of Deacon for the Diocese of Covington. Bishop John Iffert was the celebrant and ordaining prelate. Concelebrating were Father Mark Keene, vicar general and pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Ft. Wright, and Father David Sunberg, director of the Permanent Deacon Formation Program at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.
While expected to be ordained with the rest of his class in April, an injury as result of a fall and subsequential months of recovery led to a delay of Tom Murrin’s ordination, which was celebrated last weekend. In attendance to this celebration was much of Deacon Murrin’s family, including his wife, Mary Murrin, and children, who spent “long hours in the hospital and long hours in Also attending the ordination Mass were many of the diocese’s deacons, including those who were ordained from Deacon Murrin’s class earlier this year and from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and members of Deacon Murrin’s home parish, St. Philip, Melbourne.
During his homily, Bishop Iffert recalled the second reading from the Acts of the Apostles, describing the formation of the Order of Deacon. In this reading, the minority population, Greek-speaking Jews, believed their widows were being treated unfairly. As a solution, the apostles “call upon the assembled Church to select the leaders who will attend to the collection and distribution of food so that the apostles can attend to the prayer and ministry of the world,” said Bishop Iffert. “Notice that the community and the apostles are generous in their solution. All the men, all seven of them chosen for this diaconal ministry, all seven of them have Greek names. Presumably, they’re all from among the minority, who have raised this complaint. There’s no bickering about representation or fairness, these men are chosen from among the minority community that feels aggrieved, and they are entrusted to share the authority of the apostles.”
Bishop Iffert then addresses Deacon Murrin directly, saying, “This is an extraordinary example for us. You can’t help but be struck by the generosity of this sharing of authority. There is no self interest in the call of these men, who we will come to think of as the first deacons … the only ambition that is properly Christian is the ambition to serve, to serve after the example of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Following the homily, Bishop Iffert prays the Prayer of Ordination and lays his hands over top Deacon Murrin’s head, conferring the Holy Spirit to him and officially ordaining him as a deacon. Following, Deacon Murrin is vested for the first time by his brother, Deacon Kevin Murrin of the Diocese of Columbus.
Following Mass, Bishop Iffert announced Deacon Murrin’s first official assignment — to his home parish of St. Philip, Melbourne.prayer accompanying Tom through those dark days,” said Bishop Iffert during his homily, thanking the family for their generosity of supporting Deacon Murrin and his pursuit of his “ordained ministry in the Church.”
Image: Laying his hands over the head of Deacon Murrin, Bishop Iffert confers to him the gift of the Holy Spirit.