PORTLAND — Bishop Robert P. Deeley has named the Rev. Joseph E. Daniels, current pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Farmington and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay, as the interim director of the diaconate for the Diocese of Portland, effective immediately. Daniels will remain the pastor of the two parishes while he temporarily oversees the diaconate program, according to a news release from the Diocese. Deeley expects to name a new director of the diaconate after a period of consultation and discussion with advisors.

In October 2014, Monsignor Charles M. Murphy announced his retirement as the director of the diaconate in order to pursue other interests and devote himself to writing a new book.

Daniels has served as pastor of St. Joseph and St. Rose of Lima Parishes since August 2014. Born in Jersey City, N.J., Daniels was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph J. Gerry on Aug. 23, 1990, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Boothbay Harbor. Since his ordination, Daniels has served at parishes in Presque Isle, Lewiston, Bar Harbor, Bridgton, Fryeburg, and as pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Waterville. Daniels has also served as a chaplain for Maine Medical Center and Saint Joseph College. In 2003, Daniels received the Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. Since 2007, he has been a facilitator for the deacon candidates in their academic formation through Loyola University New Orleans.

In his role as interim director of the diaconate, Daniels will oversee the ongoing formation (human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral) of 30 deacons and 15 deacon candidates in the diocese.

A permanent deacon is an ordained minister of service and charity in the Catholic Church. Although they cannot celebrate the Eucharist, hear confessions, and anoint the sick as ordained priests do, deacons proclaim the Gospel and preach, especially through catechesis; baptize, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services; and assist in identifying the needs of others and organizing resources to meet those needs. In addition to parishes, deacons also minister in a variety of institutional settings, including prisons, hospitals, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and many others. As many permanent deacons are married men and fathers, they serve as a unique bridge between the secular and spiritual realms so that wherever a deacon finds himself, it is there that he serves, as a witness to the Gospel in the world.

For more information, contact Dave Guthro, communications director for the Diocese of Portland, at 321-7810 or [email protected]

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