By Deacon Jorge Gonzalez
The Deacon is a man of faith called by the Church to serve God and God’s people as an official representative of the Church in service to others.
Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made Himself the “deacon” or servant of all. It is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.
Deacons promise to live out the charism of service to God’s people through the Word, Sacrament, Charity and Justice for the rest of their lives. The role of the deacon is to proclaim by his life the Church’s call to serve the needs of others.
Whether married or single, the majority of deacons continue to support themselves through their own profession or occupation. By continuing in their occupation, deacons have the opportunity to bring the presence of Christ to the marketplace in a unique way. Ordinarily, deacons offer their ministry freely to the Church and receive no monetary compensation for their service.
Deacons are called to live a threefold ministry of service. This service can be summarized in the following way:
Service to the Word of God: The deacon is called to be a man of deep prayer, becoming familiar with and a living witness to the Word of God in his ministry, among his family and in the workplace. He is to love, preach and teach the Sacred Scriptures from the pulpit and in his daily life.
Service to the Eucharist: Every deacon is called to serve the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood by his proper participation at the Liturgy, his love and reverence of the Blessed Sacrament and his willingness to bring the Eucharist to those who are sick and unable to join the community of faith in Sunday worship.
Service on behalf of Justice, Charity and Peace: Deacons serve as Christ’s heralds of hope and love to the poor, disabled, needy, lonely, young, forgotten and society’s outcasts.
In Brooklyn and Queens, after five years of discernment and formation a man is ordained to the permanent diaconate by the bishop and he is assigned to a parish. Currently in our diocese, we have 170 active deacons from different ethnic backgrounds, languages and professions serving in parishes or diocesan agencies. We also have a good number of retired deacons who are still active in many different ministries in their parish.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Diaconate Formation Program’s admissions process, speak to your pastor and attend one of the following sessions. You can register by calling 718-281-9577 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information meeting will be held:
- Wednesday, Jan.13, 7 – 9 p.m., at 310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn.
- Saturday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. to noon at Immaculate Conception Center – Room B – 7200 Douglaston Pkwy., Douglaston.
- Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7 – 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels – Cavanagh Room – Bay Ridge.
- Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:30 – 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Institute, 23-20 Newtown Ave., Astoria.
- Wednesday, Jan. 27, 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Martin of Tours Parish Hall, 1288 Hancock St., Bushwick.
- Saturday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to noon at St. Thomas the Apostle Academy Cafeteria, Woodhaven.