The new statistics for the Catholic Church came out recently and were presented to the Holy Father this past Saturday.
Lots of statistics, but one stands out: the number of permanent deacons grew 2.5% from 2008-2009. The totals were 37,203 in 2008 and increased to 38,155 in 2009. In Oceania, which only has less than 1.1% of all deacons of the world, the percent increase was 19% to a total of 346 deacons. In Asia, the percent increase was 16%.
In America and Europe, where 98% of all deacons reside, the increase was 2.3% for the States and 2.6% for Europe.
The diaconate is one of the unsung success stories of Vatican II. In so many ways, we are still in our infancy. So many people still do not understand us and what we are about.
Next time you see your deacon, ask him! He will be more than happy to talk about his ministry and his vocation as an Icon of Christ the Servant.
I find it rather frustrating, though, how different news agencies are reporting this. My source was the L’Osservatore Romano the daily newspaper of the Vatican, which gave a good synopsis of all the data. If you were to read the article from Zenit you would be completely unaware because they ignore the statistics on deacons. Seems to happen a lot in various ways when it comes to deacons……