By his vocation, the deacon bridges work, family, and leisure with the life of the Church.
God is calling each of us to serve one another in charity and love and Pope Francis speaks to this call constantly. For some, there is a particular invitation to serve Christ and the Church in ordained ministry. The Permanent Diaconate, restored at Vatican II, is a ministry of service that is open to married and single men. The deacon's ministry, in the words of St. Pope John Paul II, "is the Church's service sacramentalized."
Deacons are ordained to the Ministry of Service in three areas: word, sacrament, and charity. As a servant to the word, deacons proclaim the gospel, instruct the faithful, and evangelize by word and deed, as did the great deacons St. Stephen and St. Francis. As a servant of the sacramental life of the Church, deacons preside at baptisms, assist at the Eucharist, bring the Eucharist to the sick and suffering, witness marriages, bury the dead, and preside at benediction. As a servant of charity, like the great deacon St. Lawrence, deacons report the needs of the community to the Church and bring its support and assistance to those in need. The deacon is called to be the "Icon of Christ the Servant" living out the life of charity for the people of God and being an "animator" for all to feed the hungry, visit the sick, and care for one another in our brokenness.
Because deacons work in the secular world and most are married men with families, they share in the worries and stresses of daily life. Permanent deacons know well the difficulties of balancing faith, family, and financial security. Through the deacon living in the world as an ordained minister, the Church knows personally the challenges, demands, fears, and anxieties of the people of God. By his vocation, the deacon bridges work, family, and leisure with the life of the Church. In fact, by living and working in the secular world, the deacon seeks to model, in his person, the integration of what one believes and how one lives.
If you are discerning God's possible call to serve the Church as a minister of charity, word, and sacrament as an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston, you and your wife are invited to take part in the upcoming Online Inquirer Webinar Program. The program consists of three sessions:
Session I: Who is the Deacon and am I one who is called?
-- Option 1: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
-- Option 2: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Session II: Canonical Questions and Discernment
-- Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Session III: Morning of Recollection/Application Process
-- Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
To register for the webinar series, please visit www.bostondiaconate.org. Those who are interested in the diaconate are strongly encouraged to participate in all three online webinar sessions. Please contact me by email with any questions concerning the inquiry program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEACON CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY IS THE DIRECTOR FOR THE PERMANENT DIACONATE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON.