they often share the experience of marriage, families and secular jobs.
With priests and bishops, they share the vocation of ordained ministry
— a sacramental configuring to the work of the Lord,” the archbishop
said in his latest column, published in the Denver Catholic Register.
comments coincide with the convention of the National Association of
Deacon Directors, which is being held in Denver, from April 19 to 22.
“It’s a privilege for us to welcome them,” the archbishop said.
privilege for priests and bishops to serve alongside our deacons and
draw strength from their unselfish witness of charity,” he added.
“Deacons embody a special commitment to servanthood as a keystone of
the entire ordained ministry.”
explained that diaconal ordination is the “first and foundational part”
of priestly ordination, “where the person ordained is configured to
‘Christ, the servant’ who comes to serve and not to be served.”
He conceded that
many Catholics today have no memory of the Church before the Second
Vatican Council, when there weren’t any deacons.
“One of the key
reasons the U.S. bishops advanced in asking the Holy See to restore the
permanent diaconate after Vatican II was to provide an ‘impetus for the
Church to adapt herself to the changing needs of society,’” the
ministry of deacons is often taken for granted today, the archbishop
said, the faithful must “remember that without them…the Church would be
a far weaker and much less effective leaven in the world than she is.”
“In the midst of
so many challenges facing the Church in our day, our permanent deacons
are another reminder that Jesus Christ is with us — always,” he stated.
He commended the
work and commitment of Deacon Jim Doyle and other deacons in the battle
against two bills that seek to lift the statutes of limitation on sex
abusers in the Church — House Bill 1090 and Senate Bill 143.
worked hard to prevent these bills from “selectively and retroactively
punish the Catholic community today for events that happened decades
ago and in which the vast majority of Catholics played no part,” he
said. “In doing so, they’ve taken up an important task of their
vocation: serving Jesus Christ by defending their parishes and their
deacons offer a unique witness to lay people, priests and bishops as
well as a constant reminder of the Christian vocation to charity, said
Archbishop Charles Chaput this week.