An insight into Deacons
The ministry of deacon functions as the service ministry of Christ. Deacons are called to embody the work of Christ in the service of promoting justice, breaking open the Word of God in preaching and witness, and at liturgical ministry at the altar. Deacons compliment the priesthood.
Vatican II restored the office of the permanent deacon in 1967, paving the way for selected married men to be ordained. The first Australian permanent deacon was ordained in 1972 for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. There are now two in the Archdiocese and one who has been accepted by Archbishop Carroll as a candidate, before ordination.
About 26,500 permanent deacons serve the Church throughout the world, with 49 in Australia, and about 20 in formation throughout the country. Formation usually takes three years of theological, spiritual, pastoral and liturgical study plus a year of pastoral placement.
Permanent deacons are most often encountered preaching and ministering at the altar at Mass, baptising, celebrating weddings and funerals, and undertaking pastoral work in hospitals, home visitation, aged care facilities, prisons and law enforcement agencies.
The wife and family of the deacon are an integral part of this ministry. Their love and intimacy reflects their love and intimacy with Almighty God and forms what is often referred to as a diaconal heart.
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC DEACONS ASSOCIATION
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