So, What Is a Deacon?

6 Nov

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I’m not the oldest deacon in the world and I’m certainly not the brightest or holiest. But after nearly 28 years serving the Diocese of Orlando and our own St. Mary Magdalen Parish, I’d like to share a few thoughts about those men called “permanent deacons.”

First of all, a deacon is not a lay person. By ordination he is a clergyman and ministers with the approval of his bishop and pastor.

Second, he does not have a corner on Truth simply because he is ordained; he knows a little or a lot. He works constantly to learn more, and understand better, God’s revelation and the Church’s teaching. He learns from others—by listening to his family, friends and fellow parishioners.

Third, the deacon was ordained to serve—but all baptized Christians are called to serve. So, what’s so special? It has to do with authorized and graced ministry as a member of the clergy—and it has a lot to do with deacons being still “in the world.” The permanent deacon is doing and coping with what lay people have to face every day of their lives. Since the deacon is “in the world” as well as in the sanctuary, he is a sign of the Church (all of us) in the world and the world coming to God.

Fourth, the deacon is not only called to be a disciple of Christ, he is called to help form disciples and enrich their lives by his own witness, preaching and by the sacraments he is authorized to administer and witness: baptism, Eucharist and marriage. He is a disciple of Christ, in the midst of all the other disciples in the midst of the world.

These thoughts are just a sampling of my constant musings.

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3 Responses to “So, What Is a Deacon?”

  1. JAMES M ISADORE November 6, 2013 at 1:51 am #

    Deacon Henry — I don’t accept religious tracts that are handed out on street corners but I have watched your tracks for many years and you are a prime example of a genuine,loving follower of Christ. You’re a exceptional Deacon of the Church.

  2. Dcn. Ralph Poyo November 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Dcn. Henry, You have much to teach us about being a Deacon. Thanks for the blog and the witness.

  3. Mark November 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Thanks, Henry. As usual, informative and inspiring.

    Blessings,
    Mark

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