The Apostles laid hands on deacons empowering them not only to handle mundane matters, but also to evengelize.

The first reading described the way the Church comes to have deacons. The Apostles felt that their main concern should be what they called “the word of God.” But, they were continuously being pulled away by the ordinary necessities of life. So they chose helpers whom they called deacons.

Now, the Bible makes it clear that deacons were more than ordinary servants. They chose only “reputable men, filled with the Spirit and Wisdom.” They didn’t just put them to work. No, the Apostles “prayed and laid hands on them.”

The spiritual dimensions of their calling became clear by the stories in the Acts Of The Apostles where the deacons Phillip and Stephen engaged in ambitious teaching ministries.

I have never had the privilege of working with a deacon, but I hope I will have the opportunity. In our diocese ten years ago Bishop Galeone commissioned Father Michael Morgan to look into broadening our reliance on deacons. Father Morgan did an excellent job studying the matter. He looked into what was working well with other dioceses, and he came up with excellent training programs that have brought fine men into our service.

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