I want to thank a brother deacon, Scott Dodge from Salt Lake City (www.scottdodge.blogspot.com) for sparking my thoughts on this topic. He has a splendid post today of the ministry of the deacon written by a guest blogger, Deacon Norb over in Toledo, Ohio. Log on over at Deacon Scott’s blog site and take a look.
I also am spurred on today by this morning’s diaconate gathering in Rochester, Minnesota of a number of the Diocese of Winona’s deacons and their wives, during which their particular ministries were discussed.
It is always amazing to me how much of our ministry is out of sight and out of mind of the majority of people and, dare I say, other clergy in the dioceses which deacons serve. Deacons serve largely without pay, recognition, and even without due credit. Theirs is largely a hidden and misunderstood vocation. I suspect this is in part due to the nature of who we tend to… the forgotten and marginalized, the disenfranchized and invisible in our midst. I left today’s meeting in awe of the many ways these local deacons reach out to those to whom our brother clergy – priests and bishops – cannot or do not.
Egos have no place in diaconal or presbyteral ministry. When they do, unhappiness and bitterness have an open door. Comparisons get made, and politics take center stage. The people of God are left without the shepherding they so desperately need.
Thank God for our deacons! Pray for the deacon assigned to your parish, and forget not his wife who sacrifices greatly in her support of his ministry.
St. Stephen, protomartyr of the Church, pray for us!