Throughout the first centuries of the Church, the deacon served as “the ears, mouth, heart, and soul of the bishop.” (Didascalia Apostolorum 2) Baptizing, taking communion to the sick, and caring for the poor, the deacon’s ministry was truly one of service. The Council of Nicaea (325) subordinated deacons to presbyters (who represented the bishop in local communities and presided at the Eucharist), thus signaling the beginning of the end of the ministry of permanent deacons in the early Church. As the number of men who wanted to remain deacons all their lives decreased, the diaconate evolved into a brief, final “step” in preparation for priesthood. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) did propose the restoration of the permanent diaconate, but it was not until the 1964 that the bishops at Vatican II approved its restoration. In 1967, Paul VI issued guidelines for the permanent diaconate and gave permission for national bishops’ conferences to restore the diaconate. The United States’ bishops did so in 1971 when they published guidelines for the ministry and formation of permanent deacons. In our archdiocese, the first class of permanent deacons was ordained in 1976. The Icon image above is of St. Stephen, one of the original seven deacons of the Church and martyred for the faith.
To all St. Louis school parents, it’s time to sign up for a shift for our festival. The link found below has all festival booths and working shifts. There is […]
Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25. Archbishop Schnurr has asked the faithful of our archdiocese to join him in […]
It is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in […]
Who are deacons and what do they do? The second Vatican Council tells us that strengthened by sacramental grace, deacons are dedicated to the People of God in service of […]