The Ministry of the Deaon

The deacon is described as “the bishop’s ear, mouth, heart and soul” (Didascalia Apostolorum II, 44, 4 Funk. Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum I. p. 138). The deacon is at the disposal of the bishop in order that he may serve the whole people of God and take care of the sick and the poor; he is correctly and rightly called “the one who shows love for orphans, for the devout and for the widowed, one who is fervent in spirit, one who shows love for what is good” (Ad Pascendum, Deacon’s Ministry: Flannery, Vatican II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents I. Revised Edition 1992. P. 434).

The ministries of the deacon are one of service and charity, of witness and proclaiming the Good News, and of leadership in prayer and liturgy.

In the documents of Vatican II and in the two decrees of Pope Paul VI that implemented the council’s restoration of the permanent diaconate several lists of diaconal tasks are given…In these documents and as this ministry has developed in practice, it is possible to distinguish three general areas of diaconal ministry: Charity (love and justice), the Word, and Liturgy.

“The diaconal ministries, although categorized by ministry, are not to be separated; the deacon is ordained for them all, and no one should be ordained who is not prepared to undertake each in some way.

“Strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the Bishop and his group of priests, deacons serve the People of God in the Ministry of Charity, the Word and the Liturgy.”

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