I offer this Sunday night reflection not to say look at me, but I find an appreciation of the Permanent Deacon is still incredibly lacking in the Church. Also, our Archdiocese is about to start a new inquiry process soon and many men will apply, some of which will have little appreciation of the diaconate beyond seeing their deacon at Mass every Sunday.
Let me remind you that, for the most part, Permanent Deacons are married, have kids at home or grown kids, many have grandbabies, and most have a secular job or may have reached the age/circumstances to retire. Another reminder; becoming a Deacon is not a job, there is no income, there is very little if any stipends, mileage, etc. and this is clearly a vocation to Holy Orders; yes, the Permanent Deacon is ordained clergy!
This was my weekend. I do not always do all things "deacon" all the time, I am, however, a Permanent Deacon all the time! Friday was my one and only day at work this past week as I was taking some good and necessary training for my job as a banker. It was heady stuff, commercial lending. So the office was hectic Friday and I was exhausted by the time I got home. My mother-in-law, staying with us for quite some time as she recovers from several health concerns, was nice enough to tape the inauguration festivities for the day and we watched as much as we could until the eye-lids gave out. Somewhere in between, I worked on the developing touches of my homily.
Saturday morning was no sleep in late day as I was off to a diaconate committee meeting on the grounds of the Teresian Retreat Center. I work with about a dozen brother deacons on various planning and deacon identity issues. We began the morning in prayer at the quaint chapel then rolled up our sleeves and went straight to work. It was a very productive day. On my way home I stopped at St. Jane's to welcome home our bus-load of parishioners who had spent their day at the Louisiana March for Life in Baton Rouge! Once home, it was all homily prep and last minute changes. Somewhere in all this time I got a Skype visit from my two grandchildren, Calvin and Katelyn! Always fun and entertaining and just the right remedy for the long busy weekend.
Sunday brought a very busy day. My liturgical assignments were to assist and preach at two Masses this weekend; the 10 am and 6 pm masses. I was able to deliver my homily twice and did tie the Gospel to the current events that include the March for Life. Before our evening Mass I also provide a closing Benediction for the youth sponsored Holy Hour which is now a weekly tradition. At 2 pm I was privileged to baptize little Beaux Joseph, a beautiful baby boy and the little brother to 2 sisters I've previously baptized. Also on my agenda today was some work with a couple preparing for marriage and preparing to assist with an upcoming annulment. I think I will officially run out of steam tonight and there will be no further Bible Study preparation until tomorrow.
After a little Night Prayer, this tired Deacon is off to bed but fulfilled in the gift of ministry and ready to awake for a new day and a drive to work, where I will do my job as a banker, always mindful that I am always and at all times a Permanent Deacon!