Monday, 1 December 2008

St Lawrence Martyr and Deacon

This Sunday Pope Benedict was in the Basilica of St Lawrence (San Lorenzo fuori le mure) in Rome in order to celebrate 1,750 anniversary of the martyrdom of St Lawrence the Deacon (see icon right). The Pope speaking of St Lawrence remembered "his solicitude for the poor, his generous service to the Church of Rome in the field of charity work, and his faithfulness to the Pope to the point of following him in the supreme trial of martyrdom ". He remains an example and inspiration for the renewed diaconate in this age.
Last week was the annual meeting of Directors of Deacon Formation and Deacon delelgates in Leeds which reflects and considers the role of deacons in this modern age. Attending the conference was illumating as we heard about the forthcoming Directory on Diaconate Formation subject to recognito (approval) from Rome and the development of the diaconate in Ireland. The first 24 Irish students are this year beginning their training and preparation. There was a tremendously fruitful discussion on this and other issues and we all came away encouraged.
In this diocese there are some 32 active deacons with another 6 in training and vocations continue to grow to this aspect of ordained ministry. If you want to find out more about the diaconate then they are included on the Diocesan Vocations website.
Please pray for your deacons and those in training, and that more men, married and single will put themselves forward for this ancient ministry being rediscovered anew.

Jesus said "And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 8:11)

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