These are some thoughts for anyone who is striving to improve the deacon community.
I think one of the first things to address is why it is a good idea for deacons to get together. It cannot be just for training in new rituals or to report on child abuse. There should be an emphasis on diaconal spirituality. We are still pretty much rare birds in the church. One of the greatest shocks for me when I was ordained was the loss of some friends with whom I thought I was very close. I wonder how many others feel that, YES, we are now different even though we are the same. Learning how to accommodate that difference while still being the same is the essence of the issue.
I wonder how many of us consider our parish membership as something personal and essential while thinking very little about how we relate to the Church. I'm not sure I can express it but ordination carried with it rights, privileges and obligations. Humility is obviously a great virtue but not at the expense of ignoring our responsibilities.
Just a few thoughts. Again, I wish you well.
Deacon John: This was one of the earlier emails I received after starting in this position of the Director. My immediate thought was to use it somehow in the blog. This is not the entire text of the message, just the tail end; but I thought the most important part. It comes from a brother with experience and shows why it is essential that we stay in contact with each other and lean on and support each other when needed. It’s the same reason we form these human communities called parishes. Anyone else have similar thoughts? How can we deal with these types of situations? Send your responses to: email@example.com.
Peace and blessings!
Thoughts for the blog:
I really bristle when I see the terms "transitional" and "permanent." First of all, no difference exists. There is only one Rite for the Ordination of Deacons in the western Church. Hence, the Word, Sacrament and Service aspect is one and the same. Those of us who will never morph beyond the role of deacon are no less endowed with the Spirit than those who go on to priesthood. Secondly, it implies a class distinction that should be non-existent. Thirdly, and finally, a baby baptized or a wedding witnessed is no less baptized or witnessed by one who will never be ordained priest versus one who will.
Thank you for the news letter. For the first time I feel a connection with all the deacons of the Diocese. Once we are done with classes, the camaraderie wains because of the many miles between us, and the time constraints due to our ministry; God, Family, Job, Diaconate, Clergy Camaraderie.
Deacon John: I submit that connections are something we have to work at; you know, kinda like marriage, ministry, life! They just don't happen, it's up to us to make them happen. Wishing everyone a blessed Advent season!