But lots more people have approached me with more questions about this new step in my life and in the life of the faithful in Saskatoon - not least among them, what the heep is a permanent deacon?
Time to dust off and fire up the ol' blog once again...
Holy Orders 101
A deacon does act as an official representative of the bishop, and therefore the hierarchy (holy ordering) of the Catholic Church. As such, he would be an ordinary minister to perform baptisms, witness weddings, bring Eucharist to others, and lead funeral liturgies. A deacon is also the proper minister to proclaim the Gospel at Mass and deliver the homily.
The Order of Deacon is a necessary step for unmarried men to progress through on the way to becoming a priest. Usually a man will spend a year as a Transitional Deacon before being ordained a priest. That's not me.
A Permanent Deacon is a man who has been ordained to remain a deacon... well, permanently.
Unlike the priesthood, a married man can be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate. That's me!
The upshot of a bunch of history and theology is that Permanent Deacons have a special duty to look out for those in most need - material need - to make sure that the Christian community can live out Christ's call to care for the most vulnerable among us. This is a service of Charity - which can mean an organisation that meets a social need but it also means just... Love.
Here's a video that the diocese created to explain the Permanent Diaconate. Enjoy.