"The diaconate is far more diverse than the priesthood is, but it’s not good enough. Very often, we’re seen as a largely middle-aged group of white guys. Our formation processes have to find a way to reach out to various cultures within the diocese. We need to make this effort, but in doing so, those cultures need to help design what works best so we can better serve the needs of all of our people in the years ahead."
The only thing liturgically that the deacon is required to do is proclaim the gospel. There are other actions he might do during the liturgy that could also be performed by other ministers.
But there’s a logic to the deacon doing them, especially the general intercessions. Why? Because it ought to be the deacon who really knows the needs of the community and knows the needs of the people. …
If the deacon is already perceived as the servant to the community in every sense of that word, when you see that servant in action liturgically, it cements that. People see the deacon and think, “That’s also the guy who does that prison stuff,” or, “This is the guy who goes out and works the soup kitchen, and now he’s challenging the rest of us, in his homily, to join him.” It all comes together.
It’s significant that the deacon gets the last word at Mass. “Ite, missa est” does not mean “Go, the Mass has ended.” “Ite” is a Latin word that a Roman commander would use to address his troops. It means “march.” And “missa est” means the church is being sent. He’s saying, “We’ve got to link this Eucharist with mission. Let’s go do that.”"
William T. Ditewig, in an interview with the editors of U.S. Catholic.
Read more about the history of the diaconate and why deacons are important in and out of the church walls from “A call of their own: The role of deacons in the church" which appeared in the June 2014 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 79, No. 6, pages 24-28).
- 4 months ago
Image: Photograph of Assisi, Italy, by Caitlyn Schmid
Pilgrimages prove that in order to move your soul, you usually need to move your feet as well.
Catch the travel bug and read “Get on the road: The case for taking a pilgrimage”
- 6 months ago
- 6 months ago
Image: Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, 1899, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
As Black History Month draws to a close, here’s a guest blog post celebrating unsung black Catholic women in U.S. history.
- 7 months ago
- 8 months ago
"Opportunities for spiritual growth—even contemplation—can occur almost anywhere, at any time. St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks about finding God in all things. The 17th-century spiritual writer Brother Lawrence found the “presence of God” even as he ordered provisions for his monastery. I was surprised to find such an opportunity in the simple task of washing dishes. For me, doing the nightly dishes, like praying the liturgy of the hours or spiritual reading, has become—in Ignatius’ words—a spiritual exercise, a spiritual practice."
- 8 months ago
What do the parishioners love most about St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Ruston, Louisiana?
Come see for yourself!
- 9 months ago
"I invite all of the institutions of the world, the church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world."
Pope Francis, in a video statement to launch a campaign to stop world hunger.