I heard the call to rebuild the church…in a new way. To use my position as a male permanent deacon to advocate for the ordination of women as deacons. I now understand why Discerning Deacons does the work that they do, and I encourage you to get involved.
Although many people mistakenly characterize Christianity as a Western church, in our roots we are Eastern. And the Eastern traditions of Christianity have, almost from the beginning, associated deacons with the role of the angel in the community.
A recent example of this has been the need to restructure the organisation following the ending of a significant government contract. This meant losing people from the organisation that I had worked closely with over a number of years. In essence, the challenge, as a leader, is this. Is it possible to take away an individual’s livelihood in a ‘Christian way’? For me the fundamental difference is that as a Christian, I believe people are made in God’s likeness and that Christ died for them. This focusses my mind on their intrinsic worth and in consequence, how individuals should be treated.
You are looking for inclinations toward diaconal ministry and the potential for leadership in ministry in a person that can be called forward in preparation for ordination.
'Practical truth is more likely found at the bottom and the edges than at the top or center of most groups, institutions, and cultures'.
'As deacons we are privileged to spend much time with the Eucharist. We bear the chalice, the blood of Christ. We cleanse the vessels after Mass. We bring the Eucharist to the sick. Even so, sometimes I seek extra time with the Lord, particularly when ministering to those facing difficult circumstances including relationship difficulties, addictions, racism, etc. Relying upon my own resources, I may run into an impasse.'
In this part of the world where there are few priests and with the permission of her bishop, Cira has baptized more than 1,300 children and adults. That the Catholic Church has a presence and can accompany people in these communities is largely due to the efforts of women like Ciria who have braved all manner of weather to travel by boat or to set up camp sites in communities where they travel along dirt roads by auto.
They’re servant leaders, serving the purposes of Christ and serving God’s people by roping them in to the task at hand. Sometimes that means challenging the church quite forcefully. Sometimes the temple needs to be cleared.
IT WILL be the work of a moment for your diary to get filled up. Protect the essentials at all costs: time for God; time for your family; and time for your ongoing training. You may now look different in your clerical collar, but, to your family, you are still husband or wife, Mum or Dad.
“Our deepest call from our creator, and from our teacher and friend Jesus, is to be with suffering and be with people who are marginalized. There’s some wonderful mystery in that, around encountering the divine there.”