August Four County Catholic Preview
Two First-Year Deacons Discuss Their Vocations

 Reverend Mr. Octavio Flores and Reverend Mr. Benedict LoCasto
sharing memories of their first year as Permanent Deacons.


July 16th 2017  - It has been one year since Bishop Michael R. Cote ordained Deacon Benedict LoCasto and Deacon Octavio Flores as Permanent Deacons for the Diocese of Norwich. The Four County Catholic asked both men to sit down with Wayne Gignac, Senior Writer for the Communications Office to discuss the first year of their new roles as ordained ministers of the church.

Wayne Gignac- You were both ordained on July 16th of 2016- How has this first year been?”

Benedict LoCasto- It’s been extremely busy, extremely rewarding and more than I ever expected.”

Octavio Flores- “Yes, it has been beyond my expectations to see especially how much faith and trust people have in me. I noticed this since the day of my ordination when many people asked me to bless them, including some priests. I saw tears in several of our parish members when they approached me for my blessing.”

WG- “That is quite a moving and memorable experience.  Ben what memories stand out for you?”

BL- “The extremely warm welcome my wife Rachel and I received from the parishioners at Holy Family and St. Columba is a strong memory for me.  Another highlight was singing the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil Mass”

WG- “Octavio what about you? Any special experiences?”

OF- “Many!  The first time I witnessed a wedding, the first time I baptized a child and on December 12 when I was asked to proclaim the gospel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is the part that impacts me the most, being able to proclaim the gospel, and to do a homily right after.”

WG- “I’m not sure if our readers are aware, but in addition to serving in a parish, deacons serve the Diocese in a ministry that utilizes their talents and a specific need that Bishop Cote has identified.  What special skillset are you both utilizing in service to the church?”

OF- “I am fluent in Spanish as well as English. I am a Full Spanish Professor at Wesleyan.   Because of this, I help as an ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinator for the Vocations office of the Diocese of Norwich.”

BL-.  “I am certified in Spiritual Direction so the Bishop has appointed me to serve the people of the Diocese by providing spiritual direction at Immaculata Retreat House.”

WG- “You both sound like you’ve been very busy this year! 

You can read the remainder of the Wayne’s interview with Deacons LoCasto and Flores in the August 2017 issue of the  Four County Catholic.