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July 30, 1993     The Message
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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July 30, 1993 Diaconate Part V: Exploring the restoration of the permanent diaconate U.S. Diaconate guidelines are listed, explained By FATHER JOHN MOORE Special to the Message "for married and unmarried men of mature years." Permission was granted on August 26, 1968. In 1971 the Bishops' Committee on the Permanent Diaconate pub- lished guidelines welch remain the basic formula in this country for the formation and ministry of deacons. These guidelines were revised in 1984. What are some of the details of the permanent diaconate envisioned by the bishops of the United States? While it is true that the precise role of deacons is determined by local needs, it is also important to know some of the general points on which agreement has been reached. In the first instance, the perma- nent diaconate in the United States has been restored for married and unmarried men of mature years." In practice, this means men must be 35 years or older at the time of ordina- tion. The diaconate is open to both married and single men. However Even before the appearance of Pope Paul VI's motu proprio, Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, the question of restoring the permanent diaconate had been taken up by the bishops of the United States organized as the Na- tional Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). A committee headed by Bishop Ernest Unterkoefler of Charleston, S.C., was appointed to study the matter and make recom- mendations. The subject was consid- ered at several general meetings of the bishops as well as at meetings of the Administrative Committee of the NCCB. On April 23, 1968, the bishops overwhelmingly voted to ask the Holy See for permission to restore the per- manent diaconate in the United States While it is true that the precise role of deacons is determined by local needs, it is also important to know some of the general points On which agreement has been reached. unmarried deacons and mar- ried deacons who become widowers after their ordina- tion will be required to observe the rule of celibacy; that is, they will not be able to marrv. It tas also been agreed that the dia- conate will be a per- manent office. This does not mean, how- ever, that all deacons would be- come engaged in full-time min- istry. As a matter of general practice, it is expected that deacons will support them- selves from their earnings in their everyday occupa- tions. They will perform their specifically minister- ial duties on weekends, at night or on special occa- sions. It is envisioned that by working in secular jobs, deacons will help to establish a visible link between the church and the secular society, a function which could be one of their most important services in tile modern world. Diaconal candidates are en- gaged in formation programs for three or more years. Most of the for- mation programs that have been es- tablished are on a part-time basis, including not only specific class hours and in-service training times, but also summer institutes and weekend programs. Formation courses cover such subjects as the Old and New Testamentsl moral theologY and public speaking Pastoral psychology, religious education, " and spirituality are also treated, as are doctrinal areas suCa as Christology, ecc!e i si01ogy, sacramenta theology, liturgy, and canon law. And, 0t course, there is training for candidates who to be involved in apostolates, for examP: hospital ministry, pus ministry, the aged and infirm an, social service ministries. . In the case of a marrLe man, it is essential that agree to support the husband proposes to becoming a deacon. The of the diaconate are likel many parallel demands on a deacon. Therefore, as a matter fairness -- as well as common -- wives are consulted and agreement obtained from th start concerning their sp est in the diaconate. Most diacOl formation programs provide sessions and course offerings wives of deacon candidates. Next week: Why needed when laity can Profession/occupation: Retired Assignment: Deacon at Holy Rosary Church, Evansville ROBERT C. THURGOOD D'O'W-N-T'O'W'N :: Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc. 30 MAIN ST. - VINCENNI:S. IN '175Sl1 Residential, Industrial & Commercial Heating & Cooling Installation Sales & Service American National Bank Bicknell - Sandbom Vincennes Orive-,n Facilities - Member FD.I.C A Full Service Bank FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 II II I I II I SCHNELLVILLE I I T Fs Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 I Special Discounts! Call us today for a quote. INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 I 422-9242 l Operated by Michael and Patricm Koch 15 S. Third Avenue, Evansville I I i [ SENIOR CITIZENS SAVE ON AUTO INSURANCE Call us today for discounts New Low Rates! Deacon Robert C. and Dorothy Thurgood have two sons. Dorothy is a registered nurse. Their son Steven is a major in the Air Force stationed at North Little Rock Air Force Base. Their son Thomas is a product specialist at O'Neal Steel in Birmingham, Ala. They have three grand- daughters and two grand sons. Deacon Thurgood was born July 2, 1923, and ordained a deacon June 19, 1983. Describe your ministry as a deacon: Directed the RCIA process for the last 10 years. Sched- ule all ministries: lector, usher, special minister. Conduct Communion services at Washington Manor three or four days a month. Process all mailings to parishioners. Con- duct baptism preparation classes monthly. Take turn in homily schedule and preach six times a weekend every five or six weeks. Do what ever else it takes. The first several times I had to write and preach a homily' Describe your most rewarding moment as deacon: Seeing the many people that have come to the through the RCIA process and become active in the churCh, How do you manage job or career and the demands ministry? Since I am retired I don't have many problems in this re" gard. There are times that you just have to say "No." What is it you would most want people to know about ministry of a permanent deacon? It is probably one of the most rewarding activities I aver and it could be for anyone else that wants to participate' benefits far exceed the effort required for this activity. RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY I Funeral Homes " Four [ Convenient Locations ZIEMER-SHEARS EAST CHAPEL 800 S. HEBRON AVE. JAMES A Mater Oei Robert C. Thurgood 2409 Hialeah Drive Evansville, IN 47715 (812) 476-7670 Deacon Robert Thurgood: Benefits far exceed the effort. Describe your most challenging moment as a deacon: