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Are you called to be a permanent deacon?

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BRAINTREE -- The next session of meetings for those considering the permanent diaconate are slated to begin this month.

The Order of Deacons was restored as a permanent and public ministry in the Latin Church at the Second Vatican Council. The aims of the diaconate are to enrich and strengthen the works of service being performed by the Church, to enlist a new group of devout and competent married and single men in the active ministry of the Church, and to aid in extending needed charitable and liturgical service to the faithful. Wives of deacons assist in many of these areas.

The number of deacons has continued to grow steadily, and there are now more than 19,000 permanent deacons ministering in the United States and 281 deacons in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The deacon's ministry may include:

Charity -- serving the poor and marginalized, visiting the sick and imprisoned, ministering to the dying.

Word -- proclaiming the gospel, preaching at Mass, catechesis, evangelization, and sacramental preparation.

Sacrament -- serving at the Eucharistic table, solemnly baptizing, witnessing marriages, bringing viaticum to the dying, and presiding over funerals and burials.

If you are single or sacramentally married, and discerning God's possible call to serve the Church as a minister of Charity, Word, and Sacrament as an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston you and your wife (for those who are married) are invited to take part in the upcoming Inquirer Program. The program consists of three meetings:

Meeting One: Who is the Deacon and Am I One Who is Called?

Sept. 19, 6:30-8 p.m. at St. Augustine Parish Center, 43 Essex Street, Andover

Sept. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Michael Parish, 196 Main Street, North Andover

Sept. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Parish, 112 Chestnut Street, Lynnfield

Sept. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree

Oct. 3, 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Stephen Parish (St. Paul Room) 221 Concord Street, Framingham

Oct. 5, 9-10:30 a.m. at Sacred Hearts Parish, 165 South Main Street, Haverhill

Oct. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. at Holy Name, 1689 Centre Street, West Roxbury (lower church)

Oct. 7, 7-8:30 at St. Paul Parish Center, 129 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

Additional Session 1 meetings are being planned. Please call 617-779-3645 for more details.

Meeting Two: Application Process, Canon Law, Formation from Wives' Perspective

Pastoral Center Braintree, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7-8:30 p.m.

Meeting Three: Half-Day Discernment Retreat

Pastoral Center Braintree, Saturday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (with lunch provided)

The Diaconate Formation Program is four years in length and is open to single and sacramentally married men who will be between the ages of 35-65 at the time of ordination.

Reflecting the global and multicultural nature of the Church, the diaconate program actively seeks candidates from the many cultural communities in the archdiocese. Academic classes are offered in English, however the program is committed to offering support for those for whom English is not their primary language.

Those who are interested in the diaconate are strongly encouraged to attend all three sessions of the Inquirer Program, along with their wives. Please email Deacon Christopher Connelly at deacon_vocations@rcab.org to sign up or to receive more information, or call the office at 617-746-5649.

The next group to be admitted into formation will begin classes in September 2020 at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

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