Today was a first for the diaconate community in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I, along with about 100 brother deacons and about 50 wives of deacons, attended the first ever Convocation for Permanent Deacons. The event was held at a parish in Slidell, LA about 25 miles north of New Orleans on an incredibly cool crisp fall day.
Our Archbishop, Gregory Aymond, was present with us to share three presentations with heavy emphasis on the role he envisions for the Permanent Deacon in word, liturgy and charity. He was very open and honest and encouraging as he acknowledged the important role in serving the people of the Archdiocese by the Deacons.
At one point, the Archbishop asked us to prayerfully recollect the day of our own ordination and to remember the commitments each of us made to fulfill the ministry of Deacon.
In the Q & A session, he was most generous with his time and responses and promised to review certain policy and procedures to assist the Deacon in his ministry.
The other fringe benefit of the Convocation was the ability to fellowship with so many Deacons not seen in quite some time, the incredible meal offered by the local Knights of Columbus and to engage in community prayer together.
I know I can speak for my brothers in thanking Archbishop Aymond for the gift of his time and encouragement and in thanking our director, Deacon Ray Duplechain, for coordination of this historic convocation!