Permanent deacons, candidates gather at annual Mass
15 men take next step toward ordination
CHARLOTTE — On Aug. 10, the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, 40 permanent deacons, 15 deacon candidates and their wives attended Mass with Bishop Peter J. Jugis at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte. The annual Mass provides an opportunity for the permanent deacons in the Diocese of Charlotte to gather for their annual recommitment.
"The gathering of ordained permanent deacons for their annual recommitment is a renewed pledge to service to the Church through the ministry of the Word, Altar and Charity," explained Deacon Ron Steinkamp, director of the permanent diaconate.
During the Mass, the deacons willingly responded as Bishop Jugis asked them five questions. He asked: "Do you resolve to discharge the office of deacon with humble charity in order to assist the priestly order and to benefit the Christian people? Do you resolve to hold fast to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience as the Apostle urges, and to proclaim this faith in word and deed according to the Gospel and the Church's tradition? Do you resolve to maintain and deepen the spirit of prayer that is proper to your way of life and, in keeping with the spirit and what is required of you, to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours with and for the people of God and, indeed, for the whole world? Do you resolve to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are ministers at the altar?"
And lastly, "Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?"
With conviction the permanent deacons responded, "I do, I do, I do, I do, with the help of God, and, I do!"
Also during the Mass, 15 permanent deacon candidates who were admitted as candidates last year took another step toward their ordination by becoming instituted lectors. Each man took his turn kneeling before Bishop Jugis while holding the Bible.
His words to each candidate were, "Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people."
Permanent deacons play a vital role in parish life, serving at Mass, administering the sacrament of baptism, witnessing marriages and teaching faith formation. In addition, the deacons of our diocese are involved in activities such as prison ministry, airport ministry at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, marriage tribunal advocates, scouting programs, the Cursillo movement, the Charismatic Renewal, pro-life ministry, vocations awareness, Knights of Columbus, campus ministry, hospital ministry and so much more.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
At www.charlottediocese.org: Learn more about the permanent diaconate, or call Deacon Steinkamp at 704-370-3344.
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