In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, Pope Francis outlined his prayer for vocations that “deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.” He asks everyone to pray for permanent deacons, who live their vocation in and with their family.
He wrote: Deacons are not second-level priests. They are part of the clergy and live their vocation in and with their family. They are dedicated to the service of the poor, who carry within them the face of the suffering Christ. They are the guardians of service in the Church. Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.
This message was lost in the trauma of the pandemic.
Pope Francis in his book, “Let us Dream” wrote, ‘Permanent deacons are vital to reflecting a domestic Church that finds its greatest in the Word and in service” (p91). In the Archdiocese there are now permanent deacons in a number of parishes with a small number of aspirants in training.