Thursday, February 10, 2011

National Catholic Reporter on Permanent Deacons UPDATED

In their February 4, 2011 issue, National Catholic Reporter included a special section reporting on Permanent Deacons in the Catholic Church. The cover of the special section has an open letter by Deacon William Ditewig to newly ordained deacons. Deacon Ditewig, who was formerly the executive director of the Secretariat for the Diaconate at the NCCB, and is currently a professor of theology, reminded the newly ordained that deacons are called to be servants for the Church and the world. Paraphrasing St. Paul, he wrote “Over all this, again echoing St. Paul, put on Christ. Do not grasp the diaconate as something to be exploited, but empty yourself, taking the form of a slave, in total service to others.”

The rest of the section had stories of individual deacons, including Deacon Greg Kandra, of “The Deacon’s Bench Fame.” It has also had some stories about deacons in other countries. It is good to be reminded that the diaconate is being reborn in the rest of the world, not just the US.
There was also an essay concerning the history of deaconesses in the Church.

The section also had some statistics including 21 dioceses in the US with the greatest number of permanent deacons. The Archdiocese of Boston is 12th on the list, with 245 deacons.

Overall it was a very interesting report.
UPDATE: Deacon Greg Kandra referenced this NCR section on his blog, The Deacon's Bench.

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