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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Catholic Deacon?

God Willing, In June on this year, I will complete a 5 year process of study and formation and will become a Catholic Deacon. Many of you have asked "What is a Deacon." I have included this short description for you.

Diaconal Service: What does a Deacon Do?

The terms “Deacon” and “Diaconate” derive from the Greek word diakonia which means “service” or “ministry.” A deacon, then, is ordained by the Church for service. But what kind of service?

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church speaks of three areas of diaconal service: Ministry of Charity, Ministry of the Word, and Ministry of Liturgy.

Ministry of Charity
The deacon is ordained to be a witness to the Gospel through a life of service. A deacon serves through his person-to-person encounters: he ministers to the poor, the aged, the sick, prisoners. He participates in programs dealing with community problems like substance or child abuse. The deacon works with youth and young adults in various parish and/or community programs. The deacon is obliged to be a positive influence for change in the world...so that society may be renewed by Christ and transformed into the family of God.

Ministry of the Word
The deacon proclaims the Gospel. He is an agent of evangelization, that is, of announcing the Good News of Christ in society. He also preaches at liturgical gatherings: he teaches in religious education programs, sacramental preparation programs, i.e. baptism, marriage, RCIA.

Ministry of Liturgy
The deacon assists at the Eucharistic Celebration, administers baptism, witnesses marriages, officiates at wakes and funerals, administers some sacramentals, presides at prayer services, i.e. communion services and benediction.

The deacon of today has the flexibility to dedicate his special talents under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the Church, to contribute to the mission of the Church within his own world of community activity. The diaconate broadens the concept of ministry and makes it possible for others to share their talents in varying ways.

The summons of his bishop, the needs of the community, the deacon’s own specific competence and the guidance of the Church’s pastor will help him decide how to use his resources wisely and effectively.

For more information on the Permanent Diaconate, click on the

link http://www.diocese-sacramento.org/ , and look for the vocation section.

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