Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Deacons' Meeting in Lima

Deacons from Dallas (USA), Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba met with deacons and lay ministers from Peru for a week long conference at the end of April and beginning of May. The purpose was to enrich and encourage deacons in their office and ministry and to promote the "permanent diaconate" in the Diocese of Peru.
During the first three days the visitors were taken to see the churches and ministries of the Diocese by the home deacons.
On the following days there were teachings, consultations and testimonies. Presentations were made to seminarians and priests, and there was an open vocational evening to which 76 people came.
The Diocese of Peru aims to encourage and promote the "permanent diaconate" as a significant and central ministry. The Diocese of Dallas, through its Bishop, the Rt Rev James Stanton, has played an important role in developing the permanent diaconate, and this has been a major source of inspiration and encouragement to Bishop William.

The Diocese of Peru now has seven deacons: Maria, Norma, Patricia, Rachel, Benjamin, David and Justo. The visiting deacons included Diana, Nancy, Toni, Felicia, David and Philip (all from Dallas), Monica (Argentina) and Martha (Cuba and Uruguay). In the photo they are seen with several of our Lay Ministers.

The diaconate is the first of the holy orders of the Church and has existed since New Testament times, where it is referred to on a number of occasions. All ordained clergy are first ordained deacon, and they remain deacons even if later they go on to become priests or bishops. The word deacon comes from the Greek word which means "servant" and their ministry and calling is to exemplify and live out the sacrificial and loving service of Jesus Christ. This they do in many different forms of ministry alongside the bishop, assisting the Church wherever they are sent by him.

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