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Diaconate: A Call to Service

May God Bless all deacons of the Catholic faith for answering the call to serve God and to serve the people of their parishes ~

Symbol of the Church

Symbols in Stained Glass: Holy Eucharist (portion of stained glass choir window, St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville, Pa.)

The permanent diaconate is an ordained parish ministry.   In openness to the Holy Spirit, it is a call that arises from a deepening desire to love, know, and serve God.   The road to becoming a deacon in the Catholic church begins first with personal prayer and guidance.  In formation, these lead to more committed study in theology, Holy Scripture, and the liturgies of our church.  The most visible aspect of a deacon’s role is assisting the priest with liturgical services: chanting litanies, proclaiming the Word of God, incensing the church and faithful, and assisting with distribution of Holy Communion.

A less visible, yet equally valued quiet ministry of service occurs behind the scenes. This includes ministry to the members of the parish, in visiting the sick and elderly; teaching children and adult learners in the parish, along with other parish functions as necessary.

Most deacons make major sacrifices in answering the call to their vocation.  Deacons make themselves available to the parish and priest as needed.  They do so in addition to managing their private family needs, workforce and career responsibilities, and all of  same things most people struggle with normally on a daily basis.  Essentially, permanent deacons time manage all they must accomplish in both the secular and spiritual realms, while continuing to reserve time for daily active prayer, the foundation of their service.  Deacon wives are supportive to the ministry in partnership with the call, and in sharing in their family prayer life and aspects of parish outreach and service.  Overall, deacons play a valuable role in our churches and in enhancing our worship services together with the parish priest.

Parishioners can support ministries such as the diaconate by offering words of encouragement to deacons and their families, and in the small sacrifice of prayer for them.  Parishioners should remember to pray for vocations.  The need to be blessed with more holy deacons and priests cannot be emphasized enough.  The seeds of vocations are found in families that make religious practices and education a normal part of everyday life in the home and outside.  Many very faithful Catholics forget that these vocations are the fruits of virtue practiced with consistency and that parents are the first line as role models.  The next layer in vocational development is at the parish level.  Parishes that have members united to the primary reasons for being in communion, those where a vibrant culture of lived faith exists, a desire of members to learn and grow in discipleship, create a foundation for vocations.   These are parishes that succeed in every way.   All spiritual change and growth ultimately depends on the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the depths of hearts and transform souls.  In prayer is this only possible.  And in all things with God, it is never too late to move towards what God desires for all.

 

If anyone has questions about becoming a priest,
Holy Priesthood formation programs should be directed to:

Rev. Michael Kerestes, Vocations Director
Saint Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, 695 N Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA  18705

Holy Deaconate Inquiries should be directed to:
Deacon Nicholas Daddona  973-890-7777

 

In gratitude from our two parishes, may God bless our deacon:  Deacon Larry Worlinsky.
Deacon Larry has been in service to the Glory of God eleven years with Ordination to the Diaconate, June 23.


“God has saved us and has called us to a holy life,not because of any merit of ours but according to his own design – the grace held out to us in Christ Jesus before the world began….”   2 Timothy 1:2