By Sarah Mac Donald - 04 June, 2016
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin will ordain eight men to the permanent diaconate at a ceremony in the Pro Cathedral this morning.
The eight will join 22 permanent deacons already serving in Dublin diocese.
The permanent diaconate is a voluntary part-time ministry for married or single men. However, some deacons who have taken early retirement or reduced their work commitments, are able to offer a greater time commitment.
Deacons can assist the priest at the celebration of the Eucharist; they can celebrate baptism and marriage and preside at funerals.
They also facilitate visiting the sick, prisoners and the bereaved and promoting awareness of the social teaching of the church.
In partnership with priests and parish pastoral workers, their role includes supporting the structures, which allow for the wider participation of the lay faithful in a range of ministries in the parish and in the wider community.
Separately, deacons and their wives attended a Maynooth seminar on the Spirituality of the Permanent Deacon led by Deacon James Keating of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraksa.
Deacon Keating is the Director of Theological Formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation and is the director of IPF Publications.
His publications include ‘The Heart of the Diaconate’ which looks at the three areas of Calling, Formation and Ordination, and Ministry.
Other publications include ‘The Deacon Reader’ which he edited and presents an overview of the theological and pastoral nature of the diaconate in a bid to clarify the fundamental identity of the deacon; and ‘A Deacon’s Retreat’.
The Maynooth seminar was organised by Fr Michael Duignan, the National Co-ordinator of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate.
It was the first ever meeting of permanent deacons, candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and their wives from all around Ireland.
As a prelude to Deacon Keating’s lecture, Teresa Talbot (Roscommon) gave a moving presentation of her personal Journey through the formation period and subsequent diaconal ministry of her husband Deacon Seamus Talbot who ministers in Kilbride Parish.
Bishop Raymond Browne, who is chairperson of the National Training Authority for the Permanent Diaconate in Ireland, also attended.