The Service of Permanent Deacons

This week we celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are discerning these particular vocations.

By: Deacon Marques Silva

From a young age, my parents taught us that service is the duty of every Christian. It was not merely words, but lived out in their daily experience. In fact, I cannot say that we only served on certain holy days or for particular events for the reason that it was a way of life for our family. This love to assist behind the scenes stayed with me as I went off to college, married, and started our family.

Then I was invited by my wife and kids (I did not see it coming) to apply for the permanent diaconate here in the Diocese of Arlington. My question was, “Why?” when I could serve just as well as a lay person. More importantly, I knew little about the permanent diaconate except for the deacons that I grew up seeing. After much prayer and discussion with my family and pastor, I applied to the program and was surprised at what I discovered.

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The Deacon finds his origin in Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles. We all remember the most famous of those first deacons — namely, St. Stephen who was martyred by St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus at the time – not so much in support of Christ at that moment in his life). He was the first Christian martyr recorded in Sacred Scripture and is known as the proto-martyr.

This post first appeared on Encourage and Teach on November 4, 2014. View the full text here.

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