View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The diaconate is so, well, permanent

I turn 50 today.

Technically, it doesn’t’ happen until about 5 p.m. EST, but what’s a few hours between friends?

I’m not a big one for birthdays, normally, but this one has a twist.

We just got back from a two-day trip to watch daughter #1 graduate college. (Proud dad.)

A pile of mail awaited.

Among them was a letter from the deacon at the parish I just quit (see my May 28 post about music).

I like him. He’s a good and holy man, and he was one of the reasons I stayed at the other parish as long as I did. He announced earlier this year that he is retiring from active ministry. That announcement helped to convince me it was time to move to a new parish.

That, and bad music.

But I hadn’t had a chance to talk to him about why I left.

Now there’s this letter.

He says he’s been watching me over the years, and asked if I ever considered the permanent diaconate.

He’s the third person to do this.

A former pastor asked me a similar question nearly 20 years ago.

A former teaching supervisor asked a similar question about three years ago.

Three times. You know us Catholics and trinities.

What helps to make this stand out, though, is the timing.

My 50th birthday.

A time to assess what I have done and what I am doing.

A time to look ahead.

A time to schedule that prostate exam.

I feel honored that he would even think to ask me.

Then again, maybe he’s just trying to guilt me back to my old parish.

Still, it’s nice to feel wanted, especially when you turn 50.

And it's better than a prostate exam.


Blogger ~m2~ said...

you could become a permanent deacon at your new parish, no?

i'd have to say the jury's out on whether it would be better than a prostate exam. at least the exam is over in a couple of minutes. the deaconate program is at least three years (i think, probably more) and very intensive, study-wise.

you've had three people tell you what they think; what does the Holy Spirit tell you?

what do you think?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Uncertain at the moment.
Plus, I have all these concerns about the deacons being used as surrogate priests - and thus as a means to keep the laity out of "power" as much as possible. I know that's not the goal of the diaconate, which has as part of its ministry the empowerment of the laity, but I fear that's how it is sometimes perceived and used.

7:05 PM  

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