What is a Permanent Deacon?

Simply put, a permanent deacon is a deacon who is not transitioning into the priesthood. Deacons who will be ordained priests are referred to as transitional deacons. Just as all bishops are first ordained priests, so too are all priests first ordained deacons. Yet not all priests are consecrated bishops, and
not all deacons are ordained priests. A deacon is a cleric, a man chosen by God and ordained by the Church in the order of service. Hence, a deacon participates in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

What are these “various ministries” of the Deacon?

All ordained ministers in the Church are called to functions of Word, Sacrament, and Charity, but bishops, presbyters and deacons exercise these functions in various ways. As ministers of Word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach, and teach in the name of the Church. As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services. As ministers of Charity, deacons are leaders in identifying the needs of others, then marshaling the Church’s resources to meet those needs. But no matter what specific functions a deacon performs, they flow from his sacramental identity. In other words, it is not only WHAT a deacon does, but WHO a deacon is, that is important.

Will Tony and Tommy be assigned to our parish after their ordination?

We don’t know yet. The Bishop places Deacons where he believes they can be of greatest service to the Church and the Bishop. We are hopeful they will be with us here at Blessed Sacrament Parish for many years.

How can I see the ordination?

The Ordination Mass is open to the public but seating is extremely limited due to clergy and reserved seating for 20 families. There will be an overflow viewing area at Sacred Heart where you can watch on TV. You are encouraged to watch online to avoid an anticipated overflow crowd. Tommy and Tony will be at all three weekend Masses on June 8 and 9. There will be a dinner on Saturday and two simple receptions on Sunday.

What do parishioners need to keep in mind about Deacons?

Married Deacons have two equally important vocations imposed on them by two sacraments — Marriage and Holy Orders. There will be times when the needs of their families take precedence over the parish. Due to family and work responsibilities, their availability will be limited. Who they are with is and what they do for us will be a blessing.

A Prayer for our Deacons to Be

Lord Jesus, we pray for Tony, Tommy, and all those preparing for ordination to the Diaconate here in West Virginia. . We asked you to fill them with the fire of your love, that their ministry may reveal your presence in the church. Since they are earthen vessels, we pray that your power shines out through their weakness. In their afflictions, let them never be crushed; in their doubts, never despair; in temptation, never destroyed; and in times of trial, never abandoned. Inspire them through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying and rising. In times of weakness, send them your Spirit, and help them praise you. By the same Holy Spirit, put your word on their lips and you love in their hearts to bring good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. Amen.