Among those first seven men who were called to serve was St. Stephen the Martyr, whose feast we celebrate on December 26. It’s not surprising then is it that St. Stephen is the Patron Saint of Deacons. So what’s the significance of the Office of Permanent Diaconate in the modern church? It’s a centuries-old ministry that was abandoned by the early church around the fourth century, but was revived as a result of the Second Vatican Council, which decreed that it be opened to “mature married men”, which was later clarified to mean men over the age of 35. While the early members of the diaconate (from the Greek diakonos, “servant”) were primarily concerned with ensuring the general well-being of the widowed and orphaned among them, modern day deacons can be found carrying out their ministerial responsibilities in parishes, hospitals and prisons, tending to the abused and battered, the mentally ill, the homeless and victims of discrimination. They are in large cities, small towns and rural communities, holding the hands of the sick and the dying, bringing the light of Christ into the darkest corners of our world. In a parish setting, a deacon’s general role is to assist the pastor in carrying out his pastoral responsibilities. As an ordained cleric, a deacon can preside at the sacrament of baptism; proclaim the Gospel and preach; preside at funerals, graveside services, and wake services; witness marriages, and of course, distribute Holy Eucharist. He cannot preside at mass which, of course, would include praying over the gifts of bread and wine that they may become the Body and Blood of the Lord, a privilege reserved for those ordained as priests. Nor can a deacon preside in celebrations of the sacrament of penance or anointing of the sick. With over 18,000 ordained deacons in the United States alone, these men, along with their wives and families, continue to serve the people of God.
Be Not Afraid-Winter Edition
Courage for the Modern World 2017Authored by Mr. Richard H. Havermale Jr.
This book is the continuation of my first book based on more than 365 references in the Bible to fear, dread, and that in fact our God encourages us to "BE NOT AFRAID". To do this we must be in the presence of our Lord and talk to Him. I recommend you develop the habit of spending 10-15 minutes a day with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or if that is not available some other quiet place where you can be in the presence of our Lord. Read the daily entry and reflect on it asking our Lord and His mother to talk to your heart and reveal to you the will of the Father and then Do it. The layout of this book is to list and reflect on the books of the bible Sirach through Revelations. In the early part of September my search of the verses dealing with fear and being afraid was completed; so I asked the Lord what do I, do now. After some reflection I realize that the fruit of fear in the Lord is the Theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love which ultimately results in Peace of the Lord. As a consequence the month of September will deal with Peace, October with Love and the month of November will be reflections on Faith and Hope. After Thanksgiving for the season of Advent and Christmas this work uses a multitude of references that reflect the Christmas season. There are many theologians who state that the eighth deadly sin is fear itself. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. Saint John Paul II in his writings and talks also tells us to BE NOT AFRAID. In fear or anger we walk away from God. Our Lord, Jesus Christ taught us how to walk back toward God in His sermon on the mount through the Beatitudes. Each of the beatitudes is the antidote for the opposite deadly sins.