In addition to “transitional deacons” who are in formation for the priesthood, the Catholic Church provides an opportunity for men to serve 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 permanent deacons have secular jobs to support their families, and strive to balance family, Church, work and other responsibilities.
Preside at baptisms
Assist the priest or bishop at Mass
Proclaim the Gospel and preach
Teach in Adult Education and RCIA and RCIC programs
Lead Holy Hours and Prayer Services
Visit the homebound and the sick
Lead Communion Services
Serve as chaplains
Oversee ministries of charity at the parish
Preside over the Liturgy of the Hours
Preside at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Preside at Public Blessings.
They can also serve and assist in other ways.
The “Liturgical Manual For Deacons” published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stated, “When the deacon comes to serve, he must empty himself from all selfish concerns.” He “must minister to the priest and to the altar with the humility of him whose very body and blood were offered on the altar of the cross.” It also stated that the poor must know the deacon as a friend and that, “All must have such trust in his prudence and charity that his wise guidance is spontaneously welcomed.”
The following “Prayer for Deacons” asks the Lord to guide deacons in their ministry:
O God, Father of us all, look with favor on those whom You have called to the sacred and ancient ministry of the diaconate.
Through the intercession of St. Stephen, grant grace to Your deacons as they minister in charity to the poor, proclaim the holy gospel at Mass, and assist Your priest at the Altar.
Keep close to your heart, Lord, the wives and children of permanent deacons, and grant that the witness of their husbands and fathers may bring about holiness and virtue in each family member.
We ask this through Jesus Christ who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that we are blessed to have many faithful, dedicated, and holy deacons to serve us at Saint Brigid. Please avail yourself of an opportunity to thank them for their service and continue to wish them well in their ministry.