As we know, there are men who serve in the Catholic Church as Permanent Deacons. Those men who are called to the Permanent Deaconate can be married, and they are ordained usually after a rigorous period of five years of training and formation. Many of these deacons have secular jobs to support their families and strive to balance family, Church, work, and other responsibilities.
Pope Francis has a great appreciation for deacons. He recently met with a group of deacons and their families at the Vatican. In an address to this group, as reported by the media outlet “Catholic News Agency”, Pope Francis stated, “The humble service of a deacon tells of the greatness of God.” He noted that deacons are “sentinels” for their parishes as they “help the Christian community to recognize Jesus in the poor and the distant, as He knocks on our doors through them.” He challenged the deacons to respond to their call to service. Pope Francis stated, “Whatever the need, see the Lord. So you, too, recognize the Lord when, in so many of his little brothers and sisters, He asks to be fed, to be welcomed and loved. I would like this to be the profile of the deacons of Rome and of the whole world.” He also encouraged the deacons to do “everything with joy, without complaining; this is a testimony that is worth more than many sermons.”
As Catholics, we are fortunate to have deacons, since they serve our Church in many ways. For example, they assist the priest at Mass, preside at baptisms, teach in our faith formation programs, visit the sick and the homebound, prepare couples for marriage, counsel couples who may be struggling in their marriages, preside at Benediction and Holy Hours, and participate in many of our Church ministries and activities.
The following prayer called “A Prayer for Deacons” asks the Lord to guide and bless the deacons who serve us:
Lord God, in Your kindness you sent Your Son to be our Shepherd and guide,
Continue to send workers into your vineyard to serve Your people.
Bless the Deacons who serve us.
Renew within them Your Spirit’s seven gifts, that they may be strengthened to carry out faithfully their ministry of service.
May they love sincerely, show genuine concern for the poor, and live holy lives.
May they always be faithful in believing what they read, teaching what they believe, and practicing what they teach.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to truly appreciate the faithful, dedicated, and holy deacons who serve us so well at Saint Brigid, especially in these difficult and uncertain times.