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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« Epiphany Homily 2008: The Arrival of the Light | Main | Sharing a Little Beatitude »

January 15, 2008

Comments

Carol

Thank you so much! Oh, he'd probably shoot me if he knew I was pushing him (in my heart) into the priesthood, but he is retired, now; he has never married; has never (I think) availed himself of any opportunity that might've co-conceived life; we have an ungodly shortage of priests here; he has already baptized many babies and given many homilies; is quite comfortable with all the clergy both here and in the Diocese; has worked in RCIA and religious ed and Confirmation and adult Confirmation for years; everyone likes him--actually, it'd be impossible not to like him, and I know he prays the Rosary daily (all the mysteries on his birthday every year) along with the Hours, etc., and we'd so gladly all foot the schooling bill. What can I say--the priesthood for such as him seems so logical! Yet, he and we and God ordained him into the Permanent Diaconate.. Well, I've wanted to ask someone in the know for a while now, just in case he and I get into a conversation about it, perhaps soon. Again, thank you so much, DDW.

Ann

Ireland does not have any Permanent Deacons yet but they are, I understand ,expected to be ' in formation' pretty soon.
I read a very interesting article in an Irish Catholic journal- The Furrow- in which the writer forecast the state of parishes in Ireland in the next 10 years or so. Obviously with the decline in vocations to the priesthood the role of Permanent Deacons is being seen as both welcome and vital for the Church.
I will keep you informed of developments here, if I may, but with the understanding that any observations I make will be from a strictly lay perspective.

Ann

Ireland does not have any Permanent Deacons yet but they are, I understand ,expected to be ' in formation' pretty soon.
I read a very interesting article in an Irish Catholic journal- The Furrow- in which the writer forecast the state of parishes in Ireland in the next 10 years or so. Obviously with the decline in vocations to the priesthood the role of Permanent Deacons is being seen as both welcome and vital for the Church.
I will keep you informed of developments here, if I may, but with the understanding that any observations I make will be from a strictly lay perspective.

Deacon DW

Ann, I welcome your observations regardless of perspective. May the Lord bless Ireland with many priests (and a few deacons to boot). Certainly Ireland has blessed the United States in terms of the priesthood.

Gabrielle

Deacon Dan, the case you describe of the deacon who became a priest and subsequently left the priesthood to remarry - hopefully this would be an isolated case, and I agree with you, not a strong argument against the whole idea. I mean, even if he hadn't become a priest, even if he had remained a deacon, he had taken a vow not to remarry, no? And if he had remarried as a deacon, he would have broken his vow. This is rather an individual case of a person who does not appear to have a calling to celibacy. I think if a widowed deacon has a vocation for the priesthood, it would be a wonderful thing if it were allowed.

Carol

A few years ago (before the clergy shortage) I looked up global statistics on the Diaconate and found that out of all the nations in the world who host a diaconate program, the U.S. had the most -- nearly 12,000 deacons at that time (tho' I don't recall how many were permanent as opposed to transitional). There are many positive economic and similar factors for that figure, I'm sure, but it was larger than all the other nations' deacons put together. No doubt others see our large diaconate population as a minus, simply because its great explosion sprang from V2; maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture on that, but truly it's one of the things that allows me great hope for this nation.

John

Hi Ann / Carol. You are right to say that Ireland does not have any permanent deacons yet. The first will be ordained on May 31st Pentecost Sunday for the Cloyne Diocese. (That will be me!). The second will be the following week, Trinity Sunday for the diocese of Elphin. After that, it will be 3 or 4 years before the next ordinations at which stage most diocese will have men in training or some ordained. The situation with priestly vocations is not as bad as people are making out. Many men are coming forward in their 30s and 40s. It is true however that the days of 6 or 7 priests in a parish are coming to an end but we are still blessed with many fine priests.

John

Hi Ann / Carol. You are right to say that Ireland does not have any permanent deacons yet. The first will be ordained on May 31st Pentecost Sunday for the Cloyne Diocese. (That will be me!). The second will be the following week, Trinity Sunday for the diocese of Elphin. After that, it will be 3 or 4 years before the next ordinations at which stage most diocese will have men in training or some ordained. The situation with priestly vocations is not as bad as people are making out. Many men are coming forward in their 30s and 40s. It is true however that the days of 6 or 7 priests in a parish are coming to an end but we are still blessed with many fine priests.

Carol

Awesome -- thank you doubly, John! For your "yes" and for your news! Cloyne.. isn't that where Bishop Magee placed Christ in my mouth for the first time in Ireland, over at St. Colman's.. And amen, many men are coming forward in their 30s and 40s and people need to know this. So, thank you triply!

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