Over at the National Catholic Register, Kathryn Jean Lopez caught up with Elizabeth Fiococelli, author a book for children that I mentioned some weeks back, “Where Do Deacons Come From?”
Can adults learn as much as children from this book?
As with all my books for children, Where Do Deacons Come From? is written keeping in mind the parents or teachers that may be sharing the book with young people. I, myself, learned new things about the diaconate, as I did with each book in this vocations series.
So, what do you want everyone to know about the diaconate?
My hope is that readers of all ages will come away with a greater appreciation for the important role that deacons play in the Church. Deacons have a long list of responsibilities, including assisting at Mass, proclaiming the Gospel, preaching homilies, performing baptisms, presiding at marriages and funerals, visiting the sick, serving the poor, doing sacramental preparation and much more. And most deacons do this while balancing a family and full-time work.
Do you know a lot of deacons?
I continue to meet more and more deacons through various ministries my family serves. In addition to the four deacons associated with my own parish, I’ve gotten to know deacons through scouting, Marriage Encounter, Catholic radio and athletics. Truthfully, I don’t really tend to ask them about their professional lives, but I do know deacons who are school-bus drivers, uranium-plant employees and chefs.
Did you test the book on any children?
Every book I write for young people must first pass inspection with my four boys. After that, I will try and get a few youngsters to read it. This particular book had several sets of deacon eyes on it to make sure every detail was correct
Is there something about lay leadership in the New Evangelization that is at the heart of your children’s series? Are you taking some educational leadership?
Each of us is called to a vocation, whether it be married life, single life or religious life (In the case of married deacons, they have two vocations!). I firmly believe it is our job as Catholic parents to plant the seeds of vocation awareness in our children’s hearts and minds at a young age. To do that, we need resources and tools to educate ourselves in the process. I hope my vocation series will be regarded as one of those tools. The way I see it, Catholic families are the spawning ground for new vocations and for the future of our Church — so let’s make it fruitful!
To answer your second question, while I haven’t been taking formal educational leadership training, I continually educate myself in the faith through books, conferences and Catholic media.