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Deacons and Wives and Candidates,
You are invited to attend to participate in our 2017 Diaconate Convocation at Immaculata Retreat House in Willimantic on January 6-8, 2017. The convocation theme this year is:
ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS (LUKE 24:13-35):
FROM BEING GOOD PEOPLE TO BECOMING GREAT DISCIPLES
Our convocation presenter is Fr. Daniel Renaud, OMI
Fr. Daniel Renaud is a Roman Catholic priest (ordained in 2003) with the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI). After many years working as a certified Drama educator, he earned a Bachelor of Theology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa (1999) and holds an MA in Youth Ministry from Boston College, Massachusetts. Preacher, speaker and spiritual guide in both Canada and the USA; Fr. Renaud was director of Campus Ministry for more than ten years at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, On, Canada. He has extensive experience in spiritual direction and in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and is a member of Spiritual Director International (SDI).
Fr. Renaud also studied in the Christian Spirituality Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Ronald Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, TX, mentored him in retreat ministry. In January 2016 he joined the staff at Immaculata Retreat House in Willimantic, CT for retreat ministry and spiritual direction as he continues itinerant preaching to lay and religious in the USA and Canada.
I think this convocation will be one of the best yet.
This year we will once again have Bishop Cote celebrating with us. Friday will be our annual prime rib dinner with wine.
There will be a state of the union address by the Director.
There will be a status report on our two newly ordained Deacons
There will be an update on those men in formation with tentative ordination in the Summer of 2018
We’ll also talk about the identification and vetting process for new diaconate candidates and plans for starting a new larger diaconate formation class.
Many thanks for your service,
What is a Deacon?
Dedicated to the works of charity and functions of administration, deacons recall the admonition of St. Polycarp: "Let them be merciful and zealous, and let them walk according to the truth of the Lord who became servant of all." (Lumen Gentium, #29)
The ministry of a deacon is similar to but different from that of a priest of bishop. A deacon is ordained and missioned by Christ through the bishop to minister to the needy and the poor and to be a minister of Word and Sacrament, working in obedience to his bishop and in close fraternal cooperation with priests. While all Christians are called to serve others, the deacon is a sacramental sign of this service and he solemnly promises to be a living example of such service for others.
Ministers of Service
Though all are servants by Baptism, the deacon is ordained as a sacramental sign of Christ the Servant. Deacons offer direct service to those in need, and to help church members to discover their participation in the ministry of Christ. Service is the calling of the deacon and he is ordained to be a facilitator and animator of the Church's call to be servant in the world. The deacon "is in the Church a specific sacramental sign of Christ the servant" (Congregation for the Clergy, Direction for the ministry and the life of permanent deacons, 22.2.1998, n. 5) Ministers of the Church
Deacons are ordained for the service of the diocese and are recognized as collaborative associates of the Bishop and priests, lay ministers and professionals. The ministry of deacons in parishes, and in special outreach ministries, calls for a team approach complimentary to the ministries of others.
Deacons share in the Sacrament of Orders with the Bishop and priests. By ordination the deacon is brought into a new relationship in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Graced for ministry, the deacon is publicly acknowledged by the Church as one called by God to serve the community of believers and the evangelizing mission of the church.
What They Do
A deacon’s ministry evolves in response to the specific needs of the Church and his God-given talents. There are three dimensions of diaconal service: Ministry of Service, Ministry of the Word of God, and Ministry of Liturgy.
The deacon reaches out to the poor, the sick, the elderly, the divorced, the imprisoned and others in order to first address their HUMAN needs. He does charitable, administrative and welfare work in the name of the Church. He organizes, leads, animates and supports the many ministries of the Church. He assists in marriage and baptismal preparation as well as being involved in social ministries at every level.
Having thus been identified in the role of servant, he may then become more effectively a liturgical minister to proclaim the Gospel and preach, to assist at the Eucharist, celebrate Eucharistic devotions, to baptize and witness marriages, to administer sacramentals and to bury the dead. In all that they do, deacons act as servants of the church.