Bishop Edward Malesic will ordain Matthew John Lawler to the permanent diaconate for service to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland during a Mass at 10 a.m. May 1 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Because of pandemic safety measures, the liturgy is not open to the public. It will be a ticketed event. The Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website and will be archived for on demand viewing.
Lawler, 54, is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Strongsville. A Strongsville resident, he is single and has three adult children. Lawler works as a civil engineer.
As a candidate for the permanent diaconate, he is completing five years of preparation: one year of aspirancy and four years of formation. After ordination, he will be assigned to a parish in the diocese to assist the bishop and priests. His duties will include assisting at the Eucharist, distributing holy Communion, witnessing and blessing marriages, proclaiming the Gospel and preaching, presiding at funerals and engaging in ministries of charity.
This year is the 53rd anniversary of the 1968 approval by Pope St. Paul VI for the bishops of the United States to renew the permanent diaconate as an active, permanent order of ministry.
The deacon -- who has a three-fold ministry of word, altar and charity -- will be ordained by the bishop during the liturgy. A deacon is charged with performing works of charity. His ministry is one of service.
For more information on the permanent diaconate, click here.