A permanent deacon’s ministry evolves in response to specific needs and his God-given talents. There are three dimensions of diaconal service: Ministry of Love and Justice, Ministry of the Word of God, and Ministry within the Liturgy.
Permanent deacons prepare the faithful to celebrate the sacraments and to carry out their vocations as baptized Christians. They are commissioned to preach, to teach, to counsel and to give spiritual guidance. They baptize, witness marriages, and preside at wake services and funerals.
In all that they do, permanent deacons act as servants of the Church.
Permanent Deacons are:
- Ministers of Service – Though all are servants by Baptism, the permanent deacon is ordained as a sacramental sign of Christ the Servant. Deacons offer direct service to those in need, especially to those who are marginalized and most vulnerable. Service is the calling of the deacon.
- Ministers of the Church – Permanent deacons are ordained for the service of the Archdiocese as collaborative associates of the Archbishop and the priests, of lay ministers, and of all who care for God’s people. The work of permanent deacons in parishes, and in special outreach ministries, calls for a team approach complementary to the pastoral role of others.
- Ordained Ministers – Permanent deacons share in the Sacrament of Orders with the Archbishop and the priests. By ordination the permanent deacon is brought into a new relationship to Christ the Servant, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the tradition of the seven men ordained by the apostles, the deacon is called by God to serve the community of believers, and to advance the evangelizing mission of the Church. (Acts of the Apostles 6-8)