Deacons in Liverpool: ‘The whole Eucharist is focused towards service’

Deacons in Liverpool: ‘The whole Eucharist is focused towards service’ September 13, 2018
Via Pixabay

A fascinating and inspiring glimpse at diakonia from Crux: 

Providing sustenance for life’s journey is what the Eucharist is about, and during the recent Adoremus Eucharistic Congress for the Church in England and Wales, the deacons of the Archdiocese of Liverpool decided to focus on the physical hunger facing people around the world.

The archdiocese sponsored a “parallel program” taking place at parishes around the city during the Sept. 7-9 meeting, and the Liverpool Order of Deacons hosted an event at St. Vincent de Paul Church looking at the issues surrounding hunger and food poverty today.

The church seemed appropriate, since the French saint was famous for his dedication to the poor, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is now a familiar presence in parishes around the world, providing charitable services for the less fortunate.

“The office of the deacon enforces the Church’s mission of ‘diakonia’ of service, and it will energize the Church, and how it will be a Church of service, particularly to the poor,” said Deacon John Traynor, one of the speakers at the event.

The daylong workshop looked at issues of hunger affecting both the local Church in Liverpool, and the universal Church, especially in developing countries.

Representatives from Liverpool Michah – an ecumenical foodbank organized by the city’s Catholic and Anglican cathedrals – spoke about how hunger is affecting people in the city, once one of the richest in England but now suffering the effects of post-industrialization.

…“If we truly understand the Eucharist and the presence of Christ, the whole Eucharist is focused towards service. It shouldn’t be internal looking,” [Traynor] told Crux. “It’s how if Christ is really present it means I must go out and minister to all my brothers and sisters in the world, and the community. The Eucharist essentially is a community activity.”

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