A very good piece on the diaconate, from Denver Catholic:
Men who are inclined to serve the community and develop their faith might have a deeper calling — one to the permanent diaconate.
“We’re looking for men who are truly being called to a life of service,” said Deacon Robert Hoffman, director of the St. Francis School of Theology.
Those who are interested in considering the diaconate are invited to attend one of several upcoming retreats where they can discern while getting more information about the St. Francis School of Theology for Deacons, the diaconate formation program for the Archdiocese of Denver.
“It’s a good name, formation, because it will take men from where they’re at to something much deeper — a deeper relationship with Christ,” said Deacon Hoffman.
…“The deacons in this archdiocese have had a tremendously positive effect on the Church of Denver,” said Deacon Joseph Donohue, director of deacon personnel.
“Through this liturgical effort, the deacons minister as God’s living vessels,” he said. “To be these instruments, deacons live out the beatitudes — not only in their parish ministry, but throughout the archdiocese.”
Deacon Hoffman believes going out to the peripheries is a crucial part of the vocation.
“From the charitable side is where you may have the biggest impact with the deacon,” he said. “There are so many things that priests don’t have an opportunity or the time [to do] because they’re so busy with their parishes.”
Deacons minister to those throughout the community, and do so with knowledge of Church doctrine and truth, Deacon Hoffman added. They also perform baptisms, witness marriages, perform funerals and burial services outside of the Mass, preach the Gospel and homilies and distribute Communion.
It’s through being instruments of God’s love on earth, said Deacon Donohoe, that deacons impact the Church.
“In a special way, deacons are able to take the prayers and labors of the people present them to God at the altar so that their burdens and cares are raised up to God,” he said. “Through this liturgical effort, the deacons minister as God’s living vessels.”