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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL next Saturday 6 pm
Next Saturday (13th December) our parishioner Michael Jarmulowicz will be formally accepted by Bishop Alan Hopes as a candidate for ordination to the permanent diaconate. His ordination to the permanent diaconate will take place in our parish in late June.

The Permanent Diaconate dates back to apostolic times with the selection of the first seven deacons, described in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 6. One of the first deacons, St Stephen, became the first Christian martyr. In about the 5th Century the permanent diaconate gradually died out, although the ministry of deacon has always been retained by the Church, albeit as a step on the path to becoming a priest. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Second Vatican Council restored the ministry of the Permanent Diaconate.

The word ‘deacon’ comes from the Greek word diakonia, which means ‘servant’. The deacon is ordained for the service of God’s people to work with the bishop and his priests. It is a vocation, a calling by God, to serve the Church in a special way, with specific graces given by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The Deacon is neither a layman nor a priest, but straddles both vocations. The vocation to the diaconate is often a calling within the vocation of marriage. The Deacon is expected to continue his normal employment and support his family; and his main responsibility is always to put his family first.

The deacon is not there to replace or take over from the many volunteers who freely offer their services to the Church. The Catechism states:- “Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.” (CCC 1596)

Over the coming months we will explain the threefold ministry of the diaconate; Service of the Word; Service of the Liturgy and Service of charity, so you will be able to better understand Michael’s role in the parish after his ordination.

All parishioners are invited to the Candidacy Mass at Westminster Cathedral next Saturday (13th December) at 6:00 pm. Some leaflets on the Permanent Diaconate are available at the back of the Church.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:37 pm