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July 2, 1993     The Message
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July 2, 1993

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|. B The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Diaconate Series explores the restoration of the 'permanent' Scholars trace diaconate ginnings. origin to Acts of Apostles By FATHER JOHN MOORE Special to the Message Many speak of the "restoration" of the permanent diaconate. It is in- deed a fact that Vatican II "restored" this office in the Latin or Western Church. However, anyone who has thought seriously about the subject recognizes that the restored dia- conate cannot be merely an antiquar- ian oddity, an interesting idea that has been rescued from the pages of history and refurbished for the bene- fit of theologians and scholars. At the same time, we cannot fully understand the basic concept of "deacon" unless we make some at- tempt to search out its roots and be- The term "deacon" comes from a Greek word, diakonos, which means "servant" or "helper." It occurs a number of times in the New Testa- ment and sometimes is applied to Christ himself. Many scholars trace the origin of the diaconate to an incident recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-7). A dispute arose within the Church of Jerusalem between Greek-speaking Christians (Hellenists) and the Ara- maic-speaking Christians (Hebrews). The Hellenists complained that some needy people in their group were not receiving their share of the material goods which the Christians of Jerusalem allotted to those who re- quired assistance. When the dispute came to the at- tention of the Apostles, the leaders of the community, they replied: "It is The term "deacon" comes from a Greek word, diakonos, which means "servant" or "helper." It occurs a number of times in the New Testament and sometime00 is applied to Christ himself. not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on ta- bles." And so, they told the com- munity to select seven men "of good standing, filled of the Spirit and of wisdom," to take over this task of service. When the selection was made, the Apos- tles "prayed and laid their hands on" the seven who had been chosen. Among them was Stephen, "a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit," who later was to become the first Christian martyr. Some biblical scholars question whether these seven were deacons in the full sense of the term. What is certain, however, is that the diaconate became a sep- arate office in the Church in the very early years of its devel- opment. In his letter to the Philippians, written around 57 A.D. St. Paul makes specific reference to deacons as a recognized order in the Church. St. Paul's most detailed treatment of the diaconate occurs in epistle to Timothy where he writes of the required for this office: same way, deacons spectable men wb be trusted, moderate, in amount of drink and wi squalid money. They conscientious ers in the faith. They are to amined first, and admitted to cons if there is .... against them." ' "Deacons mu have been than once and must be: who manage their families well. Those who carry out their as deacons will earn standing for themselves warded with great assurance work for the faith of Jesus Next week: Special role obscured for cen turies. Deacon Francis Hillenbrand: 'You receive so much more than you gtve i'FRANCIS HILLENBRAND Deacon Francis Hillenbrand 12001 Henry Lane Evansville, IN 47720 :i .................. (812} 963-5434 Professionoccupation: Manager at St. Anthony Center for Family Life Assignment: Deacon at St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh Count)' Deacon Francis and Dorothy Hillenbrand have three daughters: Connie. Ann and Chris; three sons: Gary, John and Paul; and 10 grandchildren. Deacon Hillenbrand was born Oct. 15, 1921. He was ordained a deacon May 15, 1977. Describe your ministry as a deacon. I am the manager of the Center for Family Life at St. An- thony- I participate in the liturgies at St. Joseph Church, Van- derburgh County as a deacon. I also teach some of courses and am a member of the spiritual life also preach at other parishes when requested. Describe your most challengingmoment as  Being present at the death of one of my Hospice patiBrlts' Describe your most rewarding moment as a deaCOn' The appreciation and gratitude of the family of the patient for being with them at the time of death. How do you manage a job or career and the ministry? ,. ! I am retired. What is it you would most want people to kn ministry of a permanent deacon? Regardless of what it costs you to be a deacon, you Deacon Ric00LzLrd Grannan: 'We are average Christian men ., Deacon Richard V. Grannan 4505 Buena Vista Evansville, IN 47720 (812) 425-8737 Profession/occupation: Senior Sales Representative for Gerber Products (26 years) Assignment: St. Agnes Church (Marriages, weekend homilies, nursing home ministry, fu- nerals, Liturgy of Word services : Deacon Richard and Patricia Grannan have been married 33 years. They have three children: Michele, who is married and has two children; James, living in Atlanta, Ga.; and Ger- ald, married with three children. Patricia Grannan is a substance abuse counselor for alco- holic women. Gerald Grannan is band director at Mater Dei High School, Evansville. Deacon Grannan was born March 8, 1937. He was or- dained a deacon May 15, 1977. Describe your ministry as a deacon: 1, I have homilies every 2nd weekend of the month. 2. I lead a Liturgy of the Word service every Friday after- noon at Parkview Nursing Home in Evansville. 3. I officiate at marriages and give marriage instructions. 4. I have Liturgy of the Word service every Monday morning at St. Agnes. 5. I assist the pastor of St. Agnes in many other areas of need when asked to do so. RICHARD V GRANNAN Describe your most challenging moment as a deacon: 1. Being present at the death bed of the first ever ministered to as a deacon. Discovering that n words could ease the family's pain  later to presence (only) was sufficient. Describe your most rewarding moment as a deaCOn' 1. Being asked to pray with the elderly dying patients t nursing home. 2. Looking into smiling eyes of nursing home appear so lonely until someone takes the time to them. How do you manage a job or career and the ministry? Everything must have its own priority. job second and ministry third. Fortunately, portive and understanding wife and job boss. when each priority demands a little more than this is understood and accepted. I try hard nc ministry as demanding -- but challenging at times, What is it you would most want people to know 1. That we are average Christian men wanting to s0# in a special way. 2. That most deacons want to be a true servant of God. 3. Through the restoration of the Diaconate, and blessed with being able to receive all seven the church. 4. We are ordinary Christian men, doing extraordinary people (those in need)!