Today’s gospel speaks a lot about being of humble service. Of course all those who minister in the Church, whether ordained or lay persons are called to be of humble service. One of those ordained ministries is that of the permanent diaconate. We currently have three men from our parish studying to be ordained permanent deacons. Doug McIlvaine and Rodney “Bugsy” Sindac have successfully completed the Diaconate Aspirancy Year and will be admitted as candidates for the permanent diaconate at a Mass celebrated on Friday, September 6th at St. Ann Parish in Channahon. We congratulate Doug and “Bugsy”, their wives and families on this step toward ordination. Upon completing their studies and with approval of the bishop, they will be ordained permanent deacons in 2022. Our other candidate for the diaconate, Dr. Tony Leazzo, will receive the ministry of Acolyte at a Mass on October 4th at St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield. Congratulations to Tony and his family. Upon completion of his studies and with the approval of the bishop, Tony will be ordained a permanent deacon on August 22, 2020. Information about becoming a permanent deacon is on the Diocese of Joliet website – www.dioceseofjoliet.org.
A deacon is an ordained minister of the Church. There are three groups, or “orders” of ordained ministers in the Church: bishops, presbyters (priests), and deacons. 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 minister 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. Deacons are also dedicated to eliminating the injustices or inequities that cause such 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 HOW a deacon is, that is most important.
I conclude with a word of thanks to our current permanent deacons and their wives for their ministry at OLM. Deacon Bob Vavra (now retired), Deacon Tim Kueper, Deacon Art Tiongson, Deacon Phil Rehmer, Deacon Tony Martini, and Deacon Michael Plese have served our parish well! Let us pray for our deacons and deacon candidates.
Have a blessed week!