Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So You Wanna Be a What?

Deacon myths...

  • A deacon is a part-time job.
  • The best time to be a deacon is in the golden years.
  • He's the deacon and it's his "thing" (spoken by a deacon's wife).
  • He's the social justice guy on the parish council.
  • A deacon is not as important as a priest.
The past three weeks have been incredibly insightful into the vocation of a deacon.  New life was breathed into the diaconate after the Second Vatican Council.  The Holy Spirit inspired the Church to make distinctions between the transitional and permanent diaconate.  Consequently, many very good diaconate formation programs have risen up in the Church.  One such program is at the St. Paul School of Divinity in conjunction with the Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute.  Here in the Twin Cities, the call for deacons happened to come out right around the Feast of the Epiphany, and Daddy let me know he was interested in "checking it out" shortly after that.  I think it all became a little more clear for me when he made the commitment to attend the "come & see" meetings at the seminary.  I didn't attend the first one, but I was there last week and tonight.  I was floored both times by the following:
  • During ordination the bishop lays hands on the candidate and after several questions regarding duty and fidelity, the candidate leaves the lay state and becomes joined to the Church forever.
  • The deacon wears a sash as a symbol of being an ambassador of the Church in the world and a servant at the table of the Lord.
  • Their primary works are charity and service as an icon of Christ-servant.
  • The wife of a deacon has veto power over the bishop.  Whoa!
  • The family of the deacon becomes the responsibility of the Church in the case his wife precedes him in death.  How this plays out is not really well defined, but in the case of an emergency the deacon and his children would be taken care of.
  • A deacon is a deacon to his parish, to his wife, and to his children.  This presupposes he has a wife and children.  He's also a father at all of those times, too, so there is no hat-wearing.
  • This is a vocation (a calling) like any other vocation.  God calls, you answer.
Famous Deacons
  • the child Jesus at 12 years of age in the Temple doing the work of his Father,
  • St. Lawrence
It doesn't get heftier than that!  Please keep us all in prayer as we all continue to discern.


  1. It is a HUGE deal, isn't it? We'll keep your family in our prayers as you discern if this is the right stage of your lives to make this commitment. God Bless!


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