Time for more Deacons?


#1

The early church used (what we know as Vocational) Deacons as administrators and business type folks to allow the Priests to be focused on “Prayer and teaching of the word”. As the number of Priest’s declines, might it be worth consideration to have more Deacon’s filling the slots of Parish / Diocesan Administrators and free the Priests to perform primarily sacramental and liturgical duties?


#2

I’ve actually thought the same thing over the past several years. Most priest are too busy with pastoral councils, finance committees and other duties around running the parish that they often are overwhelmed and don’t have as much time as they might want to dedicate simply to shepherding their flocks. Looking at Acts and the establishment of the diaconate it is clear that Stephen and others were selected to take care of the temporal needs of the people. It might be a good time for the diaconate to resume the duties of managing the diocesan and parish properties in service of their bishop.


#3

Well a lay person could do that just as well: you don’t need to be ordained a deacon (or a priest for that matter) to organize and administrate.

I do believe there should be more deacons however.


#4

More deacons would be nice. I rarely saw the deacon at my parish, but we recently gained a newly ordained deacon who seems more active. Also, considering the Church has made exceptions and allowed married Anglican and Orthodox priests become Catholic priests maybe the Church will make some exceptions and allow older deacons to become priests.


#5

In many ways yes, but lay people do not speak with the authority of the church as do clergy.

I think there is something to the concept of being sanctified or set apart for the work. I guess in the same way religious orders set themselves apart. Is there anything they could do in an order that cannot also be done outside the order; no, because they are lay people. But is there something different (and wonderful) about a lay person inside an order? Absolutely!

Thanks for your answer.


#6

However, the main “charism” of a deacon is to be in the person of “Christ the Servant” and their first vocation should be Charity.

In training we are told that at the parish level we are certainly able to start apostolates as needed by the parish, if one is not present, but to hand it over to the laity ASAP.

Our Bishop has asked the present diaconate class to be “creative” in looking for places to serve throughout the diocese. He had an idea of truck stop ministry, or airport chaplaincy etc.


#7

Whether the role is filled by a deacon or layperson, business managers/administrators could definitely have a role in the parish. I recently spoke with the former pastor of my parish. The parish he moved to is much larger but one thing he mentioned specifically is that they have a business manager and that allows him to be a priest rather than an administrator.

Of course the thing that always comes to mind for me is that when you hire people into positions like this you have to pay them decent salaries. And that means the people of the parish need to make sufficient donations.


#8

I think that there's definitely room for more deacons. I think that parishes need to stress that the primary role of a deacon is not liturgical, that he's not a 'glorified altar boy' (not my words, just a misconception from someone who didn't understand the focus of a deacon's ministry), but that they're mean to serve.


#9

[quote="triumphguy, post:6, topic:317808"]
However, the main "charism" of a deacon is to be in the person of "Christ the Servant" and their first vocation should be Charity.

In training we are told that at the parish level we are certainly able to start apostolates as needed by the parish, if one is not present, but to hand it over to the laity ASAP.

Our Bishop has asked the present diaconate class to be "creative" in looking for places to serve throughout the diocese. He had an idea of truck stop ministry, or airport chaplaincy etc.

[/quote]

The word "creative" scares me. Creativity hasn't been good for the Church. It would be nice if my Catholic University's chaplain was of a more Catholic nature and less new age Spirit of Vatican II. It would be nice if there was more of a Catholic Identity.

I must strongly state, however, that Deacons aren't a replacement for priests and we need to put our focus on priestly vocations.


#10

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:9, topic:317808"]
The word "creative" scares me. Creativity hasn't been good for the Church. It would be nice if my Catholic University's chaplain was of a more Catholic nature and less new age Spirit of Vatican II. It would be nice if there was more of a Catholic Identity.

[/quote]

Triumphguy mentioned some places his bishop would like to see outreach such as a truck stop ministry or airport chaplaincy. Why would these kinds of things be bad for the Church?

There are a lot of people who have little to no connection with God or with the Church. Reaching out to them seems to me to be a good thing. They may never come through the doors of a church on their own, but if you reach out to them when they're lonely or struggling they may be open to it.

I know someone who works in hospital ministry who has talked about how meeting people there can change their lives. Lying in a hospital bed may leave people a little more open to God than when they're going about their daily lives. Some people have actually returned to Church because of having someone come to their hospital room to pray with them and talk with them.

It looks like you're putting on the most negative spin possible and I don't understand why.


#11

Well try not to be scared.:thumbsup: Blessed John Paul the Great told us “Be Not Afraid.”:thumbsup::thumbsup:

And maybe presume that my Bishop is orthodox, and is taking about ministries, and not being “creative” with liturgy etc.:stuck_out_tongue:

So, to be creative is a very good thing. I means how do I think outside the box while striving to emulate Christ the “servant” who washed the disciples feet?

Or in other words - where can I “meet” the poor?

And of course Deacons aren’t priests, but then married men can’t become priests, but they can become Deacons.

So lets pray for all vocations: to the priesthood, the diaconate and the religious life.


#12

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