Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The first married Permanent Deacon in the Syro-Malabar Church!

Now, it's time to re-Joice in the Lord
Published: 07th June 2016

KOCHI: In a historic development, a layman, that too a married man, has been conferred with deacon status by the Syro-Malabar Church.
Though the Church has conferred deacon status on laymen in the past, it is for the first time that a permanent diaconate is being conferred on a married man after the Syro-Malabar Church became an independent Church.
Deacon, a ministry in the Christian Church, is generally associated with certain specific services. However, it varies among theological and denominational traditions.
Joice James, a father of four, was made a  permanent deacon by Syro-Malabar Church head Mar George Cardinal Alencherry at a ceremony held during the holy mass on Monday.
Joice has pursued a total of five years of seminary study in India and London. Joice, son of Pallikamyalil James and  Philomina, belongs to the St George Church Parish at Muthalakkulam under the Kothamangalam diocese. His wife Jibi and children were present at the function. Joice, who had been working in the education sector in London for the last 15 years, will serve in the Ujjain diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church.
In the Catholic Church, diaconate is the first of the three ranks in the ordained ministry. Deacons preparing for priesthood are transitional deacons. Those who are not planning to become ordained priests are called permanent deacons. Married men may be ordained as permanent deacons, while single men are usually ordained with a commitment to celibacy.
A person who is made deacon can perform services except sacraments.
“Conferring diaconate on laymen is not something new in the tradition of Syro-Malabar Church. Two years ago, a bachelor was conferred the status of deacon. In one instance, even a widower was ordained priest,” said church spokesperson Fr Jimmy Poochakkat.

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