Dear Editor: As a deacon for over 31 years, I can honestly say that there is more to serving as a deacon than what Deacon Ferrari wrote (“Is There a Need for Permanent Deacons?” Aug. 18).
How about being a bridge between the pastor (priest) and parishioners? So many over the years have come to me with parish problems and questions that they felt they couldn’t directly ask the pastor.
How about being an enabler, inspiring parishioners to serve in some of the ministries of the parish? And the most important reason for me to become a deacon was the fact that a deacon can serve as any or all of the altar ministries like lector, server, cantor, minister of communion, etc., whereas a lay person is supposed to serve in only one function at Mass.
One thing I can relate to is the “suffering servant” model of Christ. I’ve always tried to be a faithful “suffering Servant” even when I was told “we don’t need you around here” or “you’re too ‘old fashioned, John’” by certain priests I served under and not allowed to do any ministries in the parish.
The grace of that was I became more active in outside ministries, such as the pro-life movement, prayer groups, hospital visitation, etc. God calls us to be His deacons and we only want to serve to the best of our ability and the grace God gives us!