Monday, November 14, 2016

A great proposal for Permanent Deacons

I've been reflecting a bit lately on the role that deacons can play in the broader Church. For several years now, I have thought that one opportunity for Diaconal Ministry is in the area of Campus Ministry on college campuses. Every Catholic college campus functions as a large parish, with a mostly stable faculty and administration, and an enormous transient population, lasting anywhere from 2-6 years.
Very frequently, we see many priests and active lay people in paid positions to serve the pastoral care of mostly (but not exclusively) young adults who have a variety of spiritual and material needs during this transitional period in their life. If we are attentive to the guidance of the Church on the integral nature of the Deacon's role in serving and caring for the Flock of Christ in the local Church through their ministry of Word (preaching, catechesis), Worship and Charity, SHOULD NOT EVERY CATHOLIC COLLEGE HAVE AT LEAST ONE DEACON ASSIGNED TO SERVE IT'S COMMUNITY?
It seems to me to be an opportunity that we have largely missed in the Catholic world especially here in the United States, given the number of deacons who serve in our country. Diaconal Leadership is its own unique form of pastoral leadership - the call to be the icon of SERVANT LEADERSHIP after the pattern of Jesus Christ.
We are ordained intercessors, catechists, preachers, assistants to the priests and advocates and animators of the charisms of the lay faithful in their service in the Church and the World. In my opinion, it would be a tremendous statement about the essential nature of diakonia in the common life of the Church if EVERY Catholic college in the US had as part of its Campus Ministry a paid position on its staff for a DEACON. Priests and Deacons are the two hands of the Bishop, providing pastoral care to the Vineyard of the Lord! +

By Father Deacon Dozier

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