Twenty-one men are beginning their journey to become permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald celebrated Mass including the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders on Saturday, Sept. 28 in St. Martin’s Chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood.

The men now begin a five-year period of academic and spiritual formation before their eventual ordination as deacons serving the Church in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Father Patrick Brady, dean of the Permanent Diaconate Division at St. Charles, concelebrated the Mass. Deacon of the Mass was Deacon James Owens, director of the Office for Permanent Deacons.

The new candidates for the diaconate shown above, not including one candidate who could not attend the ceremony, are (front row, from left): Mario G. Mirabelli, John S. Gray, John J. Knesis, Kevin T. Mead, James M. Browne, Eugene J. McNally, David J. Matour, Robert G. Flynn, Phuong T. Nguyen.

Show at rear, from left: John K. Murray, Melvin A. Burton, Gino J. Benedetti, Dwight C. Johnson, Jerome M. Maghee, Albert J. Murphy, Stephen J. Martino, Raymond H. Thuel, Michael P. Nungesser, Anthony O. Willoughby, C. Robert Nowak. Not pictured: Jonathan P. Hess.